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'It's Never Been A Worse Time To Be A Criminal,' Says DA

Wilmington Police Department

Businesses are slowly and carefully starting to open.  At Costco in Wilmington, which opened for just a few hours yesterday, shoppers went in 200 at a time.  A few grocery stores and some restaurants opened their doors around Leland and Wilmington.  

But isolated instances of looting have prompted curfews and a strong response from law enforcement.

The first reports of looting came in from Brunswick County last week, where Deputies arrested four men for breaking into cars and businesses.  The next day, Wilmington officials said they were seeking suspects caught on video looting a Family Dollar store.  Authorities now say they’ve arrested five people for allegedly looting a separate dollar store in the City.

District Attorney Ben David says Florence hasn’t stopped law enforcement.

"It’s never been a worse time to be a criminal than right now.  We have so many people out on the street wearing a badge and patrolling these areas.  And if you get arrested right now, it’s going to be a little bit until the courts are open. And you might be in our jail."

The courts are closed around the region over the next week – but law enforcement officials still plan to conduct first appearances in a holding cell.  

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.