Rescuers in Philadelphia pulled a man from the wreckage of a collapsed building on Monday – and then promptly arrested him for looting.

The abandoned three-storey building in the north of the city had been reduced to rubble after Superstorm Sandy battered the east coast of the United States.

Firefighters working to make the building safe didn’t think anyone was inside, until they heard someone crawling out of the rubble.

After helping him to safety, police officers arrested him for disorderly conduct on the suspicion that he had crawled in to the building, located on Cumberland Street, looking for things to loot.

The exact cause of the building’s collapse is still unknown but Philadelphia has been buffeted by 50mph gusts as a result of the storm.

It came as thousands of National Guard troops were mobilised to prevent looting sprees on homes and shops in New York and Long Island.

Scores of trouble makers took to Twitter threatening to ransack stores and burgle abandoned homes as Sandy passed.

It prompted the New York National Guard to deploy 1,175 troops in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley to maintain law and order.

The use of Twitter to organise looting has echoes of last year’s London riots and follows a phenomenon of ‘flash robberies’ in America in which organised mobs descend on stores or individuals to steal goods.

The plans are made on social networking sites such as Facebook or by e-mail.

One Twitter user called ‘GT: OpTic TUMES’ wrote on Monday: ‘Just started a looting clan. LL – Luscious Looters. Message @OpTicPauL. for tryouts must have mask. #HurricaneSandy.’

Another, Matt Worman, posted on Sunday: ‘Bout to do some looting when this hurricane finally hits…gonna get a new laptop and tv…this hurricane might be the best thing to happen.’

Lucas Emil wrote: ‘If this hurricane gets real bad I’m looting stores! I always wanted to do that…’

Looters often take advantage of hurricanes to loot – the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 became notorious for large scale lawlessness in New Orleans.

The practice became so commonplace that police officers were eventually told not to stop people ransacking stores.

Police were caught on camera looting a Wal-Mart store, later claiming ‘they had received permission from superiors to take necessities for themselves and other officers.’

Abandoned homes were also pillaged during Hurricane Irene last year.

The National Guard said they had been mobilised to ‘provide command and control and logistical support’, adding that one of the troops’ main duties would be to ‘protect against looting.’

The move came as President Obama declared a ‘major disaster’ in New York and Long Island after the Superstorm hit overnight, leaving the area looking like the set of a disaster movie.

Sandy hit the mainland at 6.30pm local time on Monday, having battered the eastern coast all day with 13ft waves, causing widespread flooding, damage to buildings and power cuts.


Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • FourFooted_Messiah

    Well, to hell with Wal-Mart.  They’re Chinese anyway.  Yeah, I’d loot them too. I sure as heck won’t PAY for any of the substandard stuff they tend to sell. Once burnt, twice shy.

    My husband applied there out of desperation. Do you know what Wal-Mart does?  It makes its employees chant a mantra before shift, that, at the end, entails them to raise their arms in front of a picture of Sam Walton and say “hurray for wal-mart”.  It was so sick, I was happy he refused employment with them.

    • IKantunderstand

      Seriously, it makes employees “chant a mantra” ? And, what pray tell, is this mantra? Ommmm Sammmmm, Ommmm Sammmmm? Back this up with some facts, or quit using hyperbole, God backwards, I presume.

    • Norman

      I remember years ago when I worked for Kirby (vacuum cleaners) in the African country which is the furthest one south. We all had to stand on our chairs and clap and sing before and after every sales meeting. The song was to the tune of the Grand March of Aida about how cool working for Kirby is and how wonderful we all are, etc.

  • Ni123

    500 people are still being trapped on one of the Atlantic City’s barrier islands. The Governor of NJ Chris Christie announced mandatory evacuation in preparations for Sandy’s arrival. The Mayor of Atlantic City Lorenzo Langford announced it was safe to stay home and shelter in place. Atlantic City has been practically washed away. Chris Christie is white. Lorenzo Langford is black.

    • The__Bobster

      Needless to say, Langford is a belligerent idiot who wanted to duke it out with Christie because he wuz dissed.

      • IstvanIN

         I heard the Governor and the head of the state police, Colonel Fuentes, on the radio ordering people out of Atlantic City.  I can just imagine the good mayor stating “ya’ll doesn’t has to lesten to dat fat cracker and dat poetoe reekin poleece mans, ah wilz keep ya’ll safe rites here in dis school nes to da bay“.

  • The__Bobster

    Keep digging. There are probably more thieving moolies under the rubble.

     On second thought, take five, men. 

    •  People that live on STOLEN land BUILT on the backs of STOLEN labor shouldn’t be quick to call others thieves.

      • lights mckay

        Shut up, kaffir.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    God bless the “digital divide!”

  • Golden Rule Macongo Jed

    Blacks don’t loot.  They are just getting back what voodoo allah wanted them to have and was stolen from them by White privilege.

  • BillNY

    I remember that before WW2 when a hurricane or other storm was predicted, the governor of a state would call out the National Guard.  The announcement on the radio would always include the statement that “Looters will be shot on sight”.  There was almost never any looting

    • SKIP

      That was clearly before blacks and Muslims were in charge of every darned government facility, bureau, office or department INCLUDING the Dept of the Army!

  • Detroit_WASP

    Poor guy was probably just looking for the library!

    If Obama had a son…..

  • I’m sure he was looking for his “fair share”.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Scores of trouble makers took to Twitter threatening to ransack stores and burgle abandoned homes as Sandy passed.

    This is the same reason Californians won’t leave their homes in the face of fast-moving, deadly, 1500 degree wildfires.  Many who evacuate come home to find their homes AND cars broken into.

    It prompted the New York National Guard to deploy 1,175 troops in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley to maintain law and order.

    New York?  Will the president, governor and mayor tell the police and National Guard to stand down and “observe but not act”– as they were told during the LA Riots?  You can bet the msm will give scant coverage because the election is a week away and they can’t show black rioters on TV carrying off cases of beer, big-screen TVs and shopping carts full of booze and chips.

    Bloomberg won’t care as long as they’re not smoking or drinking 32 oz. sodas. People protecting their lives and property will be called “racists” and arrested as illegal gun owners while bloomberg shrieks for stricter gun control laws.

    Shoot the bastards on sight, they deserve nothing less. 

    Images:   Looting and warning posted after Katrina.  Idiot posting pilfered loot on Facebook (which led to his arrest).

    • IstvanIN

       The joys and pleasures of living in a third world country.

  • Whirlwinder

    The police and military in New Orleans confiscated all guns from the citizens after Hurricane Katrina. I wonder if they are going about the Sandy affected area collecting up everybodys guns? No? Bunch of liberal wacko’s do not enforce their edicts equally

  • MLK day – Marchin Lootin K**n day

  • rightrightright

    I saw yesterday’s Daily Mail.  He was black.