Acting governor Ralph DLG. Torres is urging residents to be proactive in preventing theft (exposed wires, personal belongings, store merchandise, etc.) as first responders continue to assist in recovery efforts after the damaging effects of Typhoon Soudelor.
“Right now, the island is vulnerable to a lot of danger even with the storm’s passage, primarily in regards to thieves possibly taking advantage of looting and stealing public and private property,” Torres said. “We have power lines and wires that are down, some exposed and damaged, that these individuals may try to seize to sell for profit. Stealing these items will have a significant impact on the restoration of utilities, and it is extremely important that this process does not get hindered, most especially because of criminal activity.”
Torres also wants residents and merchants to be vigilant in making sure that their belongings and goods are safeguarded for the possibility of looting as well as burglary in the wake of electricity being down.
“I urge homeowners who are in the process of picking up the pieces to secure valuables and any other belongings they may have because burglars can easily take advantage of homes when night falls. This especially needs to be done if any families plan on seeking shelter elsewhere and are leaving their residences. Storeowners also have to do their part, since some may have their surveillance systems down because of the utility situation. This is something we all need to be aware of because the last thing we need to deal with in the condition we are in now is thieves taking advantage of people who are in a clear state of disadvantage.”
The acting governor would like to remind the public that should they witness any thefts or suspicious activity to report them to the Department of Public Safety at 664-9000, dial 911, or call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272.
He also thanked first responders who are assisting the community in cleanup and recovery efforts from Typhoon Soudelor.
“I also ask the people to extend their patience to them as well, as the hard work of restoring our islands to normalcy is only just beginning.” (Office of the Lieutenant Governor)