September 13, 2017 05:16 GMT by dailymail.co.uk

More than 50 people arrested for looting in Miami

More than 50 people arrested for looting in Miami

More than 50 people were arrested in Miami after being suspected of looting several stores during Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who were accused of breaking into a single Walmart.

Miami-area police have arrested more than 50 suspected looters during and after Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who allegedly broke into the same Walmart.

City officials on Tuesday lifted a local 7pm to 7am curfew that had been in place since Sunday. 

As normality began to return, police commanders said officers would work 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, to discourage any more criminality.

'I said we would not tolerate criminal activity or looting or anybody who takes advantage of our residents,' Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera said at a news conference. 'I was not joking.'

Miami area police arrested more than 50 suspected looters during and  after Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who were accused of breaking into a single Walmart 

Miami area police arrested more than 50 suspected looters during and  after Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who were accused of breaking into a single Walmart 

The Walmart incident took place on Saturday night at a store in north Miami. 'I said we would not tolerate criminal activity...I was not joking,' said Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera

The Walmart incident took place on Saturday night at a store in north Miami. 'I said we would not tolerate criminal activity...I was not joking,' said Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera

The Walmart incident took place on Saturday night at a store on the north side of Miami, said Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta.

Six men were arrested on Monday and accused of breaking into stores at the Midtown Miami shopping complex before making off with merchandise that included shoes, bags and laptops.

The looting attempts spanned the city, said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, from the well-heeled Brickell and downtown neighborhoods to the low-income Liberty City and Little Haiti areas.

'I think it's despicable that anyone would try to take advantage of the fact that we're in a vulnerable state,' Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez said. 

'You have to be heartless to prey on individuals, businesses and people in this time of need,' Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo said. 'This is a time for all of us to come together and we, in the city of Miami and police department, will not tolerate it.'

Officers have also been busy trawling roads that can be perilous for motorists because power cuts shut off traffic lights at intersections and streets have accumulated shredded vegetation spread by the storm's powerful winds.

'We have never experienced, not even with Hurricane Andrew, the amount of trees that are downed in the city,' Mayor Regalado told the news conference. Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992.

Since Irma began bearing down on the state late last week, authorities have been warning any would-be looters against taking advantage of the situation.

Six men were arrested on Monday and accused of breaking into stores at the Midtown Miami shopping complex before making off with merchandise that included shoes, bags and laptops, much of which has been recovered (above)

Six men were arrested on Monday and accused of breaking into stores at the Midtown Miami shopping complex before making off with merchandise that included shoes, bags and laptops, much of which has been recovered (above)

Miami police posted a photo on Facebook of several accused looters sitting in a jail cell with the caption: 'Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors'

Miami police posted a photo on Facebook of several accused looters sitting in a jail cell with the caption: 'Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors'

Rick Maglione, the police chief of Fort Lauderdale, about 30 miles north of Miami, told residents to stay home during the storm and look after their loved ones. 

'Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice,' Maglione said in a statement.

To prove just that point, Miami police posted a photo on Facebook on Sunday of several accused looters sitting in a jail cell with the caption: 'Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors.' 

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