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article imageStaten Island looters stealing hurricane Sandy recovery items

By Angela Norwood     Jan 30, 2013 in Crime
Staten Island - Looters are stealing items from a Staten Island church meant for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. The items include both food and non-perishable goods.
The Christian Pentecostal Church in Staten Island was victimized by looters who stole items meant to help those recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. According to Pastor John Rocco Carlo, the thieves aren't stealing to provide food or other necessities for themselves — the pastor speculates their motivation is to sell the items.
"This is not just a couple of guys that needed some food," he said. "They weren't taking food, they were taking other, non-perishable things. This is about people who want to sell stuff."
Two men were charged on Saturday when police caught them loading a U-Haul truck with 35 cases of Poland Spring drinking water.
Edwin Rios, 48, and William Banks, 43, both of Staten Island, have been charged with criminal trespassing, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
“When you see creeps like this, it bothers me. If you need it, come get it, but when you take stuff like this it’s like stealing from God,” said Pastor Carlo — a retired NYPD police officer.
It appears the problem is ongoing. According to Carlo, parishioners have chased looters away themselves. According to reports, looters come most often very late at night or very early in the morning. They climb the church wall and according to church leaders, steal anything they can carry.
“They're audacious. It’s like a roach. You chase it and it comes back later,” said Carlo.
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