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Hurricane Sandy's darker side: Looting and other crime

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An hour later, a New York City Police Department officer looked on as four National Guards unloaded cases of bottled water and ready-to-eat emergency food packs outside a recently launched community center half a block away.

Looting and robberies have been up across all of New York City since Sandy hit, said the officer.

In Far Rockaway Peninsula, 15 people were charged with looting businesses on Wednesday. Reported arrests in Manhattan, Coney Island, Brooklyn, and Staten Island for looting at businesses like supermarkets and sneaker stores totaled 20 last week.

An NYPD spokesperson said in a phone interview that a team is currently investigating how the blackout for swaths of the city has impacted looting and robbery rates in New York City.

In New Jersey, the Monmouth County prosecutor was quoted as saying that police made 25 arrests for burglaries and looting incidents. But Governor Chris Christie has said that there is no evidence of widespread looting in the state.

Back in the Rockaways, about 20 blocks away from Belle Harbor, Candice Dugar waited in line for soup nearby a well-lit police precinct. She said she heard about a break-in at a sneaker store, Lee's, and a local convenience store nearby a group of public housing projects.

Melvin Flemings said a group of men looted a liquor store near the police precinct in this neighborhood, Rockaway Park, and are now selling the alcohol on the beach.

Not everyone in the neighborhood has heard of looting and robberies since Sandy.

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