New York plagued by looting and violence

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 01, 2012 11:57 hrs

Washington: Rampant looting and violence have been reported in New York and New Jersey after the devastating Hurricane Sandy ravaged the US cities.

Looters have rifled through the remains of vulnerable shops in New York and New Jersey. Thieves ransacked the Mega Aid Pharmacy in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, and took away more than 10,000 pharmaceutical items.

"The water went away and these people started walking down the streets and just robbed stores," a frustrated worker at the pharmacy, said.

"I don't even know what it's going to take until we're operational," the pharmacy's manager, 27-year-old Stan Gutkin said, adding: "This breaks the business. I don't even know where to start."

According to the Huffington Post, locals said that the police presence in the neighborhood came after looters stole from banks, pharmacies and other shops with valuables.

It's a crime that can almost be expected after a disaster. As Hurricane Irene pummeled the Atlantic Coast last year, looting was so prevalent that truTV put together a security footage slideshow of the crime.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was plagued with looting and violent attacks.

Though several officers could not say definitively whether there had been reports of looting or other crimes in the area, many were quick to tell onlookers to go home.

"It's getting dark, and it's real dangerous out here-that's why there's a cop on every block," one NYPD officer told HuffPost Crime, adding: "You could get your stuff stolen."

Two women threw haymakers at one another as residents-all still without power-stared and yelled from their windows.

Other people threw unidentified objects from their windows at officers, who swarmed in to break up the fistfight.

Dena Wells, 39, a resident of Ocean Towers, had had enough after watching the melee.

"People are turning on each other-they're attacking each other," she said, shaking her head, adding: "Even when there's no disaster, this building is disastrous. But after the hurricane, it just got crazy. (

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