A Florida sheriff called on armed homeowners to shoot looters until they “look like grated cheese” on “Fox & Friends” Friday.
Polk County Sheriff Grad Judd described the increase in looting in the aftermath of the Hurricane Ian devastation. Police arrested four suspects this week who allegedly looted and burglarized as Floridians have lost their homes and livelihoods from the Category 4 storm.
“People have a right to be safe in their homes. They have a right to their property, to be safe even when part of their home maybe torn away,” Judd said. “And these looters, that’s unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. I would highly suggest that if a looter breaks into your home, comes into your home while you’re there to steal stuff that you take your gun and you shoot him. You shoot him so he looks like grated cheese because you know what? That’s one looter that will not break into anyone else’s home and take advantage of them when they’re the most vulnerable and the most weak.”
He said the residents should be armed to help law enforcement stop crime. He stressed that the police department and other law enforcement agencies are meant to respond to short term emergencies in normal times, and the aftermath of the hurricane calls for more drastic measures.
“We’re all gonna come together,” he continued. “The community is gonna come together and if there are looters that think they’re gonna take care of these people, they may breaking it, but they should be carried out in a pine box because that is unacceptable, that cuts against all laws and all reality. You have a right and your property has a right to be safe and secure in your home, what’s left of it.”
Sheriff’s offices have sent rapid response teams to help tackle the uptick in looting and assist in recovering the damages in several communities, TCPalm reported. Martin County Sheriff William Snyder warned that the looting will grow “progressively worse” as people become “more desperate” from losing their property and belongings.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has echoed such sentiments and warned people against looting homes in a Saturday address and called on people to use their Second Amendment rights.
“Don’t even think about looting, don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation,” the governor said. “You could have people bringing boats into some of these islands and trying to ransack people’s homes. I can tell you in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home. And I would not want to chance that if I were you given that we are a second amendment state.”