DeSantis has a message for potential looters after Hurricane Idalia: ‘You loot, we shoot’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told would-be thieves that law enforcement in the Sunshine State would not tolerate anyone taking advantage of the chaos following Hurricane Idalia, warning them: “You loot, we shoot.”

“I would also like to remind potential looters: You never know what you’re getting into,” DeSantis, 44, said during a news conference Wednesday.

“People have the right to defend their property. In this part of Florida there are a lot of Second Amendment advocates and advocates, and I’ve seen signs in different people’s yards in the past after these disasters, and I’d say it’s probably here: ‘You loot, we shoot.’ ‘”

The governor was responding to reports of people attempting to loot in Steinhatchee, a town of 537 people in Taylor County, Florida, where the Category 3 storm made landfall.

DeSantis called it “ridiculous” that someone would try to loot just hours after Idalia’s 125 mph winds and torrential storm surge wreaked havoc on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“I have told all of our staff at the state level, you know, you protect people’s property and we are not going to tolerate any looting after a natural disaster,” added the governor and Republican presidential primary candidate.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told would-be thieves that authorities will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of the chaos after Hurricane Idalia and warned: “You loot, we shoot.”

“You never know what’s behind that door. If you force your way into someone’s home and try to loot, these people will be able to defend themselves and their families,” she added.

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“Don’t even think about looting. Don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation,” DeSantis said at the time, claiming that some people were “bringing boats” to storm-ravaged islands and “trying to loot people’s homes.”

“I can tell you that in the state of Florida you never know what might be lurking behind someone’s house, and I wouldn’t risk that if I were you, given that we’re a Second Amendment state,” he added, again. Noticing a sign that said “You Loot, We Shoot” that he observed at a boarded up business.

In this in-flight photo provided by mediccorps.org, a flooded and evacuated trailer park is seen near Keaton Beach, Florida.DeSantis called it “ridiculous” that someone would try to loot just hours after Idalia’s 125 mph winds and torrential storm surge wreaked havoc on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees Steinhatchie, did not respond to a request for comment about looting in the area.

DeSantis issued a similar warning last year in the wake of Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall in southwest Florida in September 2022, killing at least 149 people and becoming the costliest storm in state history.

“Don’t even think about looting. Don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation,” DeSantis said at the time, claiming that some people were “bringing boats” to storm-ravaged islands and “trying to loot people’s homes.”

Governor Ron DeSantis“Don’t even think about looting. Don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation,” DeSantis said at the time, claiming that some people were “bringing boats” to the islands “trying to loot people’s homes.”

During that hurricane, 28 people were arrested in Lee County, Florida, on charges related to looting after Iandfall, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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DeSantis has taken a break from the campaign trail to focus on Idalia.

The governor flew back to Tallahassee from the first Iowa state caucus Saturday night and has been in the Sunshine State ever since, regularly updating citizens on the track of the storm and the state government’s response.

This graphic provided by NOAA shows Idalia, now downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, moving 40 miles west of Savannah, Georgia, after making landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.DeSantis issued a similar warning last year in the wake of Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall in southwest Florida in September 2022, killing at least 149 people and becoming the costliest storm in state history. Noaa/UPI/Shutterstock

It’s unclear when DeSantis, who is about 40 points behind former President Donald Trump in national polls, will return to the campaign.

“You do what you have to do”, DeSantis said tuesday when asked how he will focus on Idalia instead of his White House ambitions.

“So that’s what we’re doing. It won’t be any different than what we did during Hurricane Ian. I hope this storm isn’t as catastrophic as Hurricane Ian was, but we’ll do what we have to do because it’s a big deal.”

Governor Ron DeSantisDuring that hurricane, 28 people were arrested in Lee County, Florida, on charges related to looting after Iandfall, according to the Tampa Bay Times. REUTERS

DeSantis also noted that when Hurricane Ian hit, “we were in the middle of a gubernatorial campaign. He had all kinds of things scheduled, not just in Florida; all over the country we were doing different things.”

The governor won his re-election bid against Democrat Charlie Crist in a landslide just weeks after the catastrophic storm.

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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