Cops: Looting Minimal in Sandy's Aftermath

Robberies and burglaries are down this month in the Town of Babylon.

Powerless and flooded, tensions were high among residents in the Town of Babylon following Hurricane Sandy, which left many fearful of impending looters.

The words, "You loot, we shoot," and its variations were seen all over the area as the stress of the storm wore on neighbors. 

However, the fear of looting was at a rate much higher than the crime itself, Suffolk County Police said during the First Precinct's monthly meeting on Thursday night.

According to police, there were no robberies in Lindenhurst, North Babylon, Deer Park or Babylon Village this month.

"It was surprising considering the lights were out," Inspector Gerard Gigante said.

Some burglaries did take place, but the numbers were actually lower than in past months, Gigante said.

"Looting was not really a problem," he said.

However, the Precinct did receive multiple calls from residents worried about the issue as drivers in unknown cars and boats driving through severely damaged areas to gawk at the damage, or scrapping discarded items that had been put on the curb as trash.

The Suffolk County Police received so many calls about the issue they put out a warning to residents, asking them not to go sight-seeing in storm-ravaged areas of the Town.

Gigante said that the Precinct received multiple calls from residents mistaking scrappers as looters, as people from other areas came through to collect furniture and appliances placed on the street.

"Not only is scrapping legal, but it was actually helpful because there was so much trash and no where for it to go," Gigante said. "However, people had a hard time seeing other people take their stuff."

While looting was not a major issue for police, Gigante said the Town-imposed curfew was very helpful in making gun arrests.

The First Precinct made seven gun arrests this month, three of them by stopping cars going through areas South of Montauk Highway after curfew hours. 


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