A number of people have been arrested in the city of Buffalo in northeastern New York state after they were found looting stores amid the heavy winter storm that has been sweeping across the US, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
“Our officers have responded to several reports. We have made a few arrests, we have intervened in some of those. We have assisted at least one location that I am aware of in getting a store boarded up,” Gramaglia was quoted by the WIVB broadcaster as saying on Monday.
According to the broadcaster, many stores in the city have been closed since Friday due to inclement weather, which has not stopped some people from looting.
“People who are out looting when people are losing their lives in this harsh winter storm is just absolutely reprehensible,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown stated, as quoted by WIVB.
Brown added that these people were “the lowest of the low” as they were just taking advantage of a disaster and the suffering of many people in the area.
Media noted that at least 12 states, namely Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin have reported a total of over 50 deaths in a deadly storm since Friday, with at least 14 people dead in Buffalo alone.
Later on Tuesday, NBC reported, citing local authorities, that as many as 57 people have died already in the US with 27 of them in Erie Country, Pennsylvania.
The country’s executive, Mark Poloncarz, said that the situation is unlikely to improve in coming days.