Two Florida men went to Fort Myers Beach, but not to help with the cleanup efforts following the devastation in the area from Hurricane Ian. No. They went with the intention of looting.
Ernesto Pedroso Martinez, 34, and Noel Morales, 54 drove to Fort Myers from Homestead, claiming to assist in the cleanup from the Hurricane.
Martinez and Morales were seen stealing items from in front of a local business and loading them into a trailer.
Lee County West district deputies located the trailer in the area with both Morales and Martinez inside, who were detained.
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Upon searching the trailer, all of the victim’s property was recovered and returned to him.
“Those who prey on vulnerable victims during a state of emergency will be charged to the fullest extent,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “I’ve said it several times; you may walk in, but we’ll carry you out.”
Martinez and Morales are both being charged with grand theft over $750 less than 5K dollars under Florida State Statute 812.014(2c1), with an enhancement for it occurring during a state of emergency.