Widespread Looting Reported in Atlantic City

Press of Atlantic City, November 2, 2012

Looters who hit Angela Jones’s house on New Hampshire Avenue were thorough.

They took three flatscreen TV’s, raided her medicine cabinet and her son’s closet and overturned her bed before making off with her 16-year-old daughter’s school laptop — and three six packs of bath soap.

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Jones returned ahead of the evacuation orders being lifted because her job as a municipal court clerk qualifies her as an essential employee – the only people allowed to travel into the resort since 4 p.m. Sunday. Some of her neighbors in the city’s Northeast Inlet were hit, too – and they wonder how many more victims will emerge once everyone can come back to Atlantic City.

Police have arrested nine people since Monday for breaking into homes and businesses throughout the city.

“They’re taking advantage of the city shutting down, going from house to house to house,” Jones said. “So we all said next time (there’s a storm), we’re staying.”

Burglars find ample opportunities with so many houses left empty during evacuations of storm-ravaged barrier islands statewide. The problem has become so rampant in just a few days that the State Police announced Thursday they would provide backup to bolster security in general and help crackdown efforts already under way by local officers to prevent looting.

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“We’ve had a lot of looting all over,” Sixth Ward Councilman Tim Mancuso said.

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In Atlantic City, looters broke into Second Baptist Church. After spending Tuesday cleaning up the first floor flooded by the storm, the Rev. Collins A. Days returned Wednesday to discover broken windows, overturned furniture and boxes, and computers, printers, microphones, amps and speakers missing from the complex’s offices and classrooms. {snip}

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