Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Penalties for Looting During Disasters Could Increase [AUDIO]

MORE: NJ Recovering From Sandy

If you’re caught looting during a disaster, you could face jail time and big fines. The state Legislature is introducing a bill that will increase penalties for burglars and would-be thieves.

Looting
Andrew Burton, Getty Images

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) said that he will introduce legislation to increase the penalty for looting during a state of emergency. The bill upgrades burglary to a crime of the second degree when the crime is perpetrated where a state of emergency is in force.

Proposed Bill Would Stiffen Penalties

“This most recent series of disasters really opened our eyes to the tragedies that can occur during times of hardship,” O’Scanlon said. “With nature reeking havoc and ruining people’s lives it is incomprehensible to think that there are those who would take advantage of the folks who are suffering most.”

O’Scanlon said that the bill was currently being drafted and would be introduced at the next possible meeting of the General Assembly. This bill would upgrade the crime of burglary when it is committed in a jurisdiction where a state of emergency is in force. Under the provisions of this bill, a violator is guilty of a crime of the second degree which is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 5 to 10 years; a fine of up to $150,000; or both.

“This bill is a message to all would-be thieves and burglars – a state of emergency does not mean the fruit is ripe for picking,” explained O’Scanlon. “And if you think that a disaster is an entrée to looting, you are going to be sorely disappointed. The punishment will match the crime.”

“I will work with the Attorney General’s office, prosecutors and law enforcement officials around the state to get this bill right.” O’Scanlon stated, adding, “but the bottom line is that we will not tolerate those who would make victims of the victimized. There can be know half way with this breed of crimes.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

GALLERIES: More Photos of Sandy's Destruction in NJ

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!