At least 10 people have been arrested for looting Buffalo businesses left shuttered by a blizzard that hit the upstate New York city over Christmas, leaving 37 people dead and thousands without power.
Security footage shows looters smashing storefronts and leaving with televisions, computers, and other high-priced items. "These were not crimes of desperation, but crimes of opportunity to steal items from unoccupied stores during a blizzard," said Erie County district attorney John Flynn, who pledged to prosecute the looters "to the fullest extent of the law."
City officials on Tuesday announced the formation of an anti-looting detail to identify individuals who burglarized stores, WGRZ reported. At least four looters have been arraigned in court, according to the Buffalo Police Department.
Buffalo has accumulated over four feet of snow since Friday, in what New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D.) called "the most devastating storm in Buffalo's long storied history." President Joe Biden on Monday approved Hochul's request for an emergency declaration, a day before decamping to a St. Croix villa owned by a pair of wealthy donors.
Biden will ring in the New Year on the tropical island, where temperatures are expected to remain in the low 80s.