Since Hurricane Irma left the Golden Isles behind, rumors of looting have begun to spread. Interim Glynn County Police Chief John Powell said Wednesday not only are those rumors untrue, they can cause problems with the police.
“The rumors of massive looting have been extremely exaggerated,” Powell said.
Matthew Kent — who normally works with emergency medical services and the fire department in Douglas County but has been assisting Glynn County and Brunswick authorities — said the reports the local police have received should dispel the rumors.
“At this point, it’s that people are worried about their homes, and they’re hearing that there’s been a lot of looting that these numbers just don’t support,” Kent said.
From Sept. 8 to first-thing Wednesday morning, only one robbery, 13 burglaries, three thefts and one auto theft have been reported to the Brunswick and Glynn County police departments, Kent said. In addition, only two aggravated assaults have been reported.
Three instances of vandalism were reported and two drug reports, which could be someone dealing, or caught with, drugs. Only three DUIs have been reported.
It should be taken into account these numbers are only those that were reported to the police, Kent said.
Powell partially attributed the low numbers to the bolstered ranks of local law enforcement.
“We have been extremely lucky in the fact the state has supplemented the local police, and we have utilized that staff to increase our patrol presence and visibility,” Powell said.
The increased staff has augmented all three local agencies: the Brunswick and Glynn County police as well as the Glynn County Sheriff's Office.
While the crime rate since the hurricane hit has been low and police have striven to be as responsive as possible, Powell said the general public has also been a great help.
“It’s not just the presence of law enforcement, but the people that get the most credit from this are citizens. They have been listening and heeding the words we’ve been putting out and (sticking to) the curfew,” Powell said.
The majority of instances the police have responded to were not based on calls from residents, but were called in by police officers, Kent said.
While the crime rate has been relatively low, Powell said they are remaining vigilant and encourage residents to report any crimes or suspicious activity they see.
The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew throughout Glynn County is in effect today. It will be reassessed Friday.