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The Looters ...

          ...were just trying to feed their families RIGHT?

        Looters' Caches Popping Up All Over New Orleans

by Brett Martel

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - It was like a modern-day treasure map - a computerized diagram of neighborhoods with codes marking the addresses where National Guard soldiers came upon caches of goods taken by looters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"There's probably still loot out there" hidden in various homes, Capt. Gregg McGowan said from his Oklahoma National Guard unit's makeshift headquarters.

"We're not going house-to-house looking for it, but if we find it, we secure it so police can check it."

In the chaos that followed Katrina's flooding, looters targeted everything from grocery stores to gun shops to trendy women's clothing boutiques. Now that the city is mostly empty of civilians, military patrols making house-to-house checks for remaining residents or the dead are finding some of the hiding places for the stolen goods.

New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan said he intends to prosecute as many looters as he can. However, few arrests have been made thus far because authorities have been primarily concerned with reaching stranded residents, Jordan said.

The guardsmen recently thought they had caught a looter coming back into town to load his stash onto a moving truck. Inside his home, the soldiers found automobile parts stacked 8 feet high, a new off-road motorcycle and various electronics, including a video game system with a pawn shop ticket still attached.

But the man told the soldiers he had no idea where the goods came from and that someone else must have broken into his home and stashed them there after he evacuated. Skeptical, the soldiers detained him until police arrived, filled out a report and seized the goods. They took the man's name and address, but did not arrest him.

"You could be technical and say, 'I'm going to book him with possession of stolen property,' but then you have to find out who the owner is, find out whether that person had permission take that property," New Orleans Police Capt. Marlon Defillo said.

"So what we're generally doing is seizing the goods as found property and writing a report."

That way, he explained, authorities can return the goods if they figure out where they came from - rather than holding them as evidence pending the resolution of often drawn-out criminal cases.

In other homes, McGowan's unit found automatic teller machines that had been broken open and emptied of cash and bags of ammunition still packaged in 500-round bundles, not the individual boxes of 20 rounds usually sold over the counter.

A smashed-open video poker machine, likely taken from a bar, was left lying on the sidewalk of an Uptown residential street.

In a church-run assisted living home close to a heavily looted Wal-Mart in the lower Garden District, a team of guardsmen found new bicycles, stereos and clothing. Someone associated with the church, who refused to give his name, said at least seven rooms in the four-story residence were filled with goods believed to be stolen.

New Orleans police are storing seized loot in a makeshift warehouse near the city's train station, Defillo said. He declined to provide details on how many goods had been found, how many businesses or homes had been looted, or if authorities had any long-term plan to track down some of the culprits. AP

                   ... Mayor Nagin just invited all these folks back in.


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Hmmm.Makes you wonder just how many of those people who were questioned gave their real names and addresses, and if they will be back! Know what else makes me wonder? I just carefully read your people lists, and I don't see a certain name on either one of them. HM!

Yeah, how ya gonna really arrest and prosecute, when these thugs go to pick up the stash and claim no knowledge about the goods, unless it's actually in their little paws. And yeah, they actually COULD have stashed their stash in someone elses home. Gaw'd what a mess. I guess eventually they will sort it all out, and i'm sure it WON'T be to everyones satisfaction.

Tina, I have looked for that particular name in the sidebar, but have been assuming it might be under the obscure title of the blog itself,.. and although i am trying to hit everyone of them, i haven't finished the entire "list" yet.

Just realized....HEY, I've got a "hit list"

Isn't it obvious? The Iron Giant was looking for food! Duh!

Tina and imp ...

Thoughtful Insomniac? It's there.

Basil ...

Yeah, and he'll use that motorcycle to open the cans of food.

Thanks, Steel, sugar, one place i have not been to...on my way.

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