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Long-Time St. Thomas Residents Tell Fox News, CNBC That Looters Armed With Machetes and Guns Robbed People In The Aftermath of Hurricane Irma

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — St.Thomas resident Mike Laplac said on Monday that looters were robbing residents using machetes and guns after Hurricane Irma raked the capital island last Wednesday.

“I actually know of eight people that were robbed in broad daylight with machetes for everything they had in their vehicles, including their fuel. Yesterday we spent about 3 ½ hours in a line for fuel, and machetes were pulled there as well. We’re getting stories of people being robbed at gunpoint in their house for something as small as a can of tomato sauce,” he told FOX Business’ Trish Regan on ‘The Intelligence Report.’

Laplac said since the police force is “limited” and poorly-trained he had to protect himself from looters.

“At night right now in my house we have a couple of guys with me, we’re taking four hour shifts and we’re standing out there with the one pistol that we do have, machetes and flashlights to make sure that nobody comes to loot us without us seeing them,” he said.

Government officials and local residents alike are reporting the damage as catastrophic, and saying it will be months before the islands are able to recover, but Gov. Kenneth Mapp said that there has been no widespread looting after the storm.

“The infrastructure is destroyed,” Dr. Libby Flowers, who is treating patients at her clinic on St. Thomas, told CNBC. “The roads are impassable, the power grid is completely gone, and there is a lot of looting and robbing.”

Flowers, who has lived and worked on the island for eight years as an emergency room doctor, said her family went through Hurricane Hugo on Sept. 17-18, 1989.

“Irma was by far the worst,” Flowers said.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.


  1. Peter J R Holt
    September 13, 2017 at 7:20 PM — Reply

    Trying to find out if Margot Zimmerman is safe and well she has lived on St Thomas formany years looked for her on the red cross register but she is not on it I don’t have an address only phone # 340 777 3954 which of course is not working at present thanks for your help

    • September 19, 2017 at 8:07 PM — Reply

      Peter J R Holt –
      I would also like to know if Margot Zimmerman is safe and well. Could you please post here if you find out anything? Thank you.

  2. September 18, 2017 at 5:10 PM — Reply

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