New bill aims to bring stiffer penalties for those committing burglaries during evacuations

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Charleston faced its share of burglaries during the evacuation of Hurricane Matthew - LEIGH WEBBER
  • Leigh Webber
  • Charleston faced its share of burglaries during the evacuation of Hurricane Matthew
State lawmakers are considering a new bill that would specifically target those found guilty of burglaries committed during evacuations in South Carolina.

Introduced by state Rep. Weston Newton, the proposed law would categorize looting during an evacuation period or within 24 hours after an evacuation order has been lifted as a first-degree felony. Those found guilty of the offense would face a minimum 15-year sentence.

This new legislation comes after numerous coastal communities were subject to a rash of burglaries during the evacuation order in preparation for Hurricane Matthew last year. According to the Charleston Police Department, Charleston residents and businesses experienced at least 26 reported burglaries directly related to the storm evacuation.



For a detailed account of burglaries during the hurricane, check out the City Paper’s previous report on the thefts carried out in Charleston.

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