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NYPD takes to the skies to look for looters

November 13, 2012 3:23:42 AM PST
Residents struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy now say they are becoming victimized twice, first by the superstorm and now by intruders. So the NYPD is fanning out to look for looters.

Many of the residents still have no power, and many neighborhoods have seen a surge in burglaries. In the Rockaways and other hard-hit areas, units have been brought in to lower the crime trend. And they're not just doing ground patrols.

From the air, they are keeping an eye out for those using the darkness and vulnurability left in Sandy's wake to prey on those who have already lost so much.

"To take advantage of a disaster like this for personal gain is, it kind of lights a fire under us so that they're apprehended," Officer Richard Knoeller said. "So they can't do this again."

The NYPD Aviation Unit uses powerful spotlights to watch from the sky, and they radio to officers on the ground when they see something suspicious.

The storm left alarms disabled, windows broken and homes wide open.

"You try and leave the basement open to let some air in to dry out the mold, and you don't know who's going to creep in," one resident said. "It's not people from here. Honestly, there's been a lot of people from outside the neighborhood, taking advantage of people when they're down."

And that is why the officers are working above it all, working day and night to spot and arrest looters down below.

Nassau County is reportedly using its aviation unit to do the same thing on Long Island.

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