MIAMI (CBSMiami) — City of Miami Police held a press conference Tuesday morning discussing looting that took place during Hurricane Irma.
Police said 19 were arrested in burglaries around the city. Six were caught in three incidents in midtown.
“I think it’s despicable that anyone would try to take advantage of the fact that we’re in a vulnerable state,” said Commissioner Francis Suarez.
CBS4’s Hank Tester rolled up on this guy just as he exited from the smashed storefront at Simon’s Sports Store.
An anonymous caller alerted police as a group unloaded boxes of shoes and clothing from their vehicles and into a home, near N.W. 47th Street and N.W. 1st Avenue.
When an officer arrived and began speaking with the building’s manager, she noticed 18-year-old Sebastian Michel Jean-Baptieste walk up with a gym bag and interact with three other suspects at the home.
The officer questioned Jean-Baptieste about what was in the bag to discover shoes and clothing with Foot Locker labels still attached. Jean-Baptieste said he bought the items from a “crackhead” and admitted that he knew they were stolen.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Miami Police displayed the stolen items that were recovered and thanked the public for their help catching these guys.
“Without these tips, we would not have been able to arrest these individuals,” said Deputy Chief Luis Cabrera.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said in times of emergency, police were out and ready to take action.
“We’re sending a message to the business community that they will be protected,” he said. “And to send a message to the residents of Miami that they will be protected.”
Jean-Baptieste was charged with dealing in stolen property. Three others identified in the arrests were Wildes Pierre, 22, Franco Lous, 20, and Roland Aguirre, 19.