‘Widespread Looting’ Reported In New Orleans During Hurricane Isaac

Here in Chicago, I only heard about minimal looting during Hurricane Isaac from the various mainstream news outlets. Michael Kunzelman and Stacey Plaisance reported on the Yahoo! News site back on August 29:

Meanwhile in New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a curfew in part to make it easier for utility crews to restore electricity. Officials also warned they would make arrests for looting. So far, there had been only sporadic arrests.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

That was it. After hearing what Christian Broadcast Network News Reporter Chuck Holton had to say in that segment on preppers about the aftermath of the June 29 “super derecho” (I believe that’s the incident he was referring to):

There was looting taking place in the town where I live within 12 hours of the power going out.

I was reminded about the looting situation during Isaac and became curious about the extent to which the criminal activity took place.

After plugging in “hurricane isaac looting” into Google and viewing the search results, I realized the looting went beyond “only sporadic arrests.” Get a load of these “hits”:

“Hurricane Isaac looters hit boats south of Slidell, sheriff says”

-August 28, NOLA.com (The Times-Picayune)

“JPSO arrests alleged Hurricane Isaac looters in Old Jefferson…”

-August 29, NOLA.com

“New Orleans police report widespread looting during Hurricane…”

-September 4, 2012, NOLA.com

“Deputies charge St. Bernard man in Isaac looting case”

-September 10, WWLTV.com

“Hurricane Isaac Looting Victims Come Forward – WGNO”

-September 26, ABC26.com

Going back to that “New Orleans police report widespread looting during Hurricane…” bit, Naomi Martin wrote on The Times-Picayune (Greater New Orleans) website on September 4:

While dozens of looters and armed robbers took to the streets of New Orleans during Hurricane Isaac, police reported no killings and virtually no gunfire, resulting in one of the least violent weeks in a city notorious for its sky-high murder rate…

Even with the beefed-up patrols, the widespread lack of electricity seemed to embolden opportunistic criminals. At least 12 armed robberies and three carjackings were reported. Officials anticipate hundreds of residential and business burglaries will be reported when all the records are compiled…

All told, police arrested 41 people for looting, Serpas said. Most of them targeted convenience stores, stealing food, alcohol and cigarettes.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Alcohol. Cigarettes. Reminds me of an infamous scene from the late 60s-70s television series All In The Family when “Archie Bunker” was talking to his son-in-law in a power failure about the last blackout and subsequent looting:

MIKE: Arch, poor people steal, hungry people steal!
ARCHIE: Oh yeah? That’s why in that July blackout there they drove fifty cars out of the showrooms on account of they had a craving to eat a Pontiac.

Those were the days…

Sources:

Kunzelman, Michael, and Plaisance, Stacey. “Officials may breach levee as Isaac storms inland.” Associated Press. 29 Aug. 2012. (http://news.yahoo.com/officials-may-breach-levee-isaac-storms-inland-182924245.html). 19 Sep. 2012.

Martin, Naomi. “New Orleans police report widespread looting during Hurricane Isaac, but little violence.” The Times-Picayune. 4 Sept. 2012. (http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/09/new_orleans_police_report_wide.html ). 19 Sep. 2012.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 Crime, Emergencies, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Utilities, Weather

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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