You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade now to a modern browser in order to benefit of all our site's features: Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer. [Close]

The Official Blog of Fox News Channel

Price Gouging, Looting and Rage: Superstorm Sandy Brings Out the Worst in Some


Superstorm Sandy exposed the true nature of the people in its path, bringing out tales of hope and heroism -- as well as stories of callous cruelty.

Looting, price gouging and misguided rage all compounded the unprecedented storm, and left many folks shaking their heads and wondering just how low people could sink. Gas was siphoned from cars, criminals posed as relief workers, cruel thieves picked through the unprotected possessions of neighbors who had lost nearly everything. Utility crews working around the clock to restore power to citizens were even assaulted by angry residents.

Experts say it's an unfortunate, but common pattern in the wake of a disaster.

"In a disaster situation, people aren't sure what the norms are," said Jason Nier, a professor of social psychology at Connecticut College. "People may look to what others are doing in determining what their behavior may be."

Some of the worst looting came in the areas hardest hit, where victims had the least means of protecting themselves and their possessions. In the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, bandits ransacked a drugstore, making off with thousands of pharmaceutical items late last week. In Queens, 15 people have been arrested for looting so far, and in the Rockaways, the Queens neighborhood on the Atlantic shore, there have been numerous reports of looting and robberies.

Most loathsome, perhaps, were reports of people posing as FEMA and utility workers to gain entry into homes, then sticking up residents.

The gas shortage also brought out the worst in people. Long lines at gas stations prompted fights, and in Queens, one man was arrested after allegedly pulling a gun after other customers objected to him cutting in line. There were scattered reports of gas stations jacking up their prices, and some people were selling gas on Craigslist for up to $20 a gallon. State troopers were quickly deployed to gas stations in New Jersey and police were seen at New York filling stations.

A Staten Island man was arrested after he was caught hoarding gas after he filled up 30 five-gallon buckets with fuel from a station in upstate Orange. The man intended to bring the buckets of gas back to his Richmond Hill neighborhood where neighbors desperately needed it for cars and generators.

In addition to gas, hotel rooms, batteries and generators were going for well above their regular prices as desperate victims scrambled to survive. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman vowed to launch an investigation after receiving hundreds of complaints about inflated prices at supermarkets, hardware stores and gas stations.

Read the full article.

Posted in: 
Leave a Comment0

Today's Front Page Stories

Don't want to keep checking back here for the latest from Fox News? That's cool. We'll come to you ...

Connect with Fox News


Stay connected with the most-trusted name in cable news through exclusive videos, blogs, polls, contests and behind-the-scene details.

Get More Fox!

Greta Is Wired! is the official blog of Greta Van Susteren. Get Greta’s breaking news alerts, pictures, videos, polls, and behind-the-scenes exclusives. Plus, speak out on open threads, as well as the live chat page. Connect to the GretaWire community ... and to Greta herself!

Fox News Presents: 'My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck'

Fox News Channel presents an exciting new feature series, My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. From the quirky to the inspirational, "My America" reveals who we are as a nation – driven, passionate and uniquely American. Watch the latest installment, an up-close look at the beloved Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!