Lessons from Sandy: Looters Loot Where Cops Aren’t

That groundbreaking revelation appears in the intro to Heather Mac Donald’s New York Post piece on the New York Civil Liberties Union’s attempts to get cops to quit their “trespass-affidavit program” where flatfoots patrol private apartment buildings looking for lurkers who don’t belong there. But Mac Donald — no friend to modern leftist orthodoxies — misses a key puzzle piece in New York’s post-Sandy experience . . .

The looting was concentrated wherever police precincts were evacuated due to flooding, reported The Wall Street Journal, such as on Coney Island, where the entire 60th Precinct was emptied out, and the 100th Precinct in the Rockaways….

Across the city, burglaries had spiked 7 percent from Monday to Thursday over those days last year — a number likely to rise as evacuees return and tally thefts from their abandoned homes.

We’ve just lived through a demonstration of what happens when the police go away.

D’oh! And she was this close to nailing it. Mac Donald stopped just one sentence too soon, probably not wanting to open that particular kettle of fish – New Yorkers have also just lived through a demonstration of what happens when a disarmed populace is forced to surrender its personal safety and wellbeing to a police force that can’t possibly keep everyone safe in normal circumstances, let alone in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Oh, and as for the NYPD’s predilection for stop & frisk and patrolling private properties looking for drug dealers other troublemaking yoots, the need for those tactics would drop drastically if the general populace in the Big Apple were allowed to exercise their Second Amendment right to armed self defense. And that would mean fewer NYCLU lawsuits, less NYPD tsuris and fewer lawsuits clogging up the courts and draining city bank accounts. Pretty much a win-win for everyone involved. Nah…makes too much sense.   [h/t John B.]


  1. avatar Jay says:

    Doesn’t everyone have a police officer on their property to protect them? Silly people!

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      I do!

      1. avatar Joe says:

        Not when you are on shift… And we all know shift happens

  2. avatar jwm says:

    What this shows me is yes, we all need the right to arm and defend ourselves. But we also still need the cops. Not the crooked, dog shooting cops, but we still need a uniformed police presence in our cities, especially after a major event.

    Uniformed cops and legally armed citizens should be helping each other in these events.

    1. avatar Sammy says:

      The problem is the FOP. A citizenry that can defend itself cost cops jobs. Why would the cops work with people that reduce the need for the cops “authori-tie”?

      1. avatar Michael Christenbury says:

        Most Police departments are downsizing anyway because of the economy!

  3. avatar Sammy says:

    Mayor Mikey’s gun control laws are working perfectly.

  4. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Now, when seconds count, the police are only hours away…..

    1. avatar Phil B says:

      Now, when seconds count, the police are only days or weeks away…..

      There – corrected it for you.

  5. avatar Will says:

    I don’t see anywhere that these robberies are active invasions in to inhabited houses and/or stores, but rather simple, basic looting in, effectively, uninhabited, and clearly unsupervised areas.

    Save in perhaps Texas, pretty much nobody is going to condone a private citizen using lethal force to protect someone else’s Radio Shack.

    Now, there may well be a “Korean Shop Keeper” argument that the store owners and shop keepers are not in situ to defend their property because of the local legislation, but, notably for homes, those folks aren’t there solely because they can not live there due to lack of basic services (like heat), not so much for being in fear of physical safety. That can certainly be a component of not being there, but that does not seem to be coming across from the stories I’ve been hearing.

    It’s certainly an example of lack of overall civil order due to absence of law enforcement, but seems to me less of an issue of a disarmed citizenry who are choosing not to be there anyway due to extenuating circumstances.

  6. avatar EATENG says:

    “New Yorkers have also just lived through a demonstration of what happens when a disarmed populace is forced to surrender its personal safety and wellbeing to a police force that can’t possibly keep everyone safe in normal circumstances, let alone in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”

    I don’t think this is a good example of how a disarmed citizenry cannot rely on the police for protection. These homes were burglarized because they were evacuated and NO ONE was around. An armed home owner would not have done any better in protecting his property when he is not present. If there were any cases of home invasion robberies where the residents were there and unable to defend themselves, it wasn’t mentioned in the article.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      “An armed home owner would not have done any better in protecting his property when he is not present”

      What point are you trying to make?

      1. avatar EATENG says:

        These homes were looted because the residents left, not because they weren’t armed. Even if the home owners were armed, they would have taken their guns with them when they fled the storm, and their homes would still have been looted.

        1. avatar Peter says:

          Perhaps you mis-typed something? The presence of a firearm is not going to do anything to stop looting. The precense of a person with a firearm will. The presence of an unarmed person might have a deterring effect, too. That might be what you were trying to say, but your reply doesn’t indicate that.

  7. avatar WLCE says:

    I like how these lessons are apparently the first time for new yorkers…

    1. avatar barnslayer says:

      Not all NY’ers… just the liberals. (Maybe now former liberals).

  8. avatar barnslayer says:

    Gun Free Zone = Target-rich Environment

  9. avatar BillyWee says:

    I live right on the border of NYC and Nassau county, luckily on the Nassau side (NYC=No guns; Nassau county=No issues with Rifles and Shotguns). I stopped a cop & asked about looting & he said it’s only been in commercial areas, though people have told me they see suspicious, non-residents Slowly driving down dark streets checking out houses.
    I laugh inside when people tell the husbands stayed home to watch the house & one is sleeping with a baseball bat & the other has a hockey stick. Good luck and I hope nothing happens, but I feel a lot more comfortable with my 12 gauge with 00 loaded in it & a box of shells plus a few slugs in my night table drawer!

  10. avatar Silver says:

    “Looters Loot Where Guns Aren’t”


  11. avatar Bdk says:

    When the people who still don’t have power or police prescence are finally heard my bet is that the looting is many times worse than what has been reported. I just saw a news report where every frazzled person they interviewed mentioned “the looters.”

  12. avatar LongPurple says:

    I can’t say with first person certainty, but I’ve been hearing a lot of reports of looting of homes (some of them while occupied) as well as businesses at the Jersey Shore, in the aftermath of Sandy.
    The coastal areas have been hard hit by the combination of storm surge, high tide, and hurricane wind-driven waves, combined with torrential rain.
    Many towns on the barrier islands are still not accessible, with roads washed out and fires from broken gas mains a continuing danger.
    Looters were reported to have landed by boat in these areas, to steal whatever they might fit in whatever size of boat they had.
    Some neighbors were staying in their darkened home, saving gas by turning off their generator, when two strangers walked in. Apparently, they thought the house was deserted because it was dark. When they realized their mistake, they ran off. There’s no guarantee that will be the way all such incidents end.

  13. avatar Ibuprofen Addiction is Real says:

    Is it just me or can the rest of you hear the guy in the gray fleece saying, “Man dis be some BU-shit right here!”

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