LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Lee County Sheriff’s Office officials say they responded to two separate looting incidents, resulting in seven total arrests this week.
“People who prey on others directly impacted by Hurricane Ian are the lowest form of scum,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno says. “There will absolutely be law and order in Lee County, and those who think they will commit crime are gravely mistaken.”
Five men from the Orlando area, Eli Francisco Acevedo Marin, Eli Yadiel Acevedo Ayala, Luis Enrique Cedeno Morales, Axel Martinez Quiles, and Benigno Ortiz Diaz were seen looting in Fort Myers Beach near a Wyndham Garden Hotel, according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s officials say deputies located a white work van and found various items from recent thefts and several fire extinguishers, allegedly stolen from the hotel and a nearby condo. All five men were arrested and charged with two counts of Burglary during a State of Emergency and two counts of Grand Theft of a Fire Extinguisher.
Two other men, Al King Chapman and Rodney Rogers were accused of stealing construction material from a Hampton Inn parking lot, also in Fort Myers Beach. Both were arrested and charged with Grand Theft.
In a statement posted on social media, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno says he takes looting offenses seriously, and warns that criminal activity in the aftermath of a natural disaster won’t be tolerated.
The agency says the Orange County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrests.