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Police step up security in Los Cabos after Odile

Published:Friday | September 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A man, centre in orange, tries to prevent another one from storming a supermarket in Los Cabos, Mexico. Employees of the supermarket said the company donated all the food at the market and established a system by which every person had five minutes to get whatever they could for free as fights broke outside with people inciting the crowd to loot.
An employee from Mega Supermarket fires an air rifle at people trying to loot the store in Los Cabos, Mexico.

CABO SAN LUCAS (AP): Police stepped up patrols in the resort area of Los Cabos, where looters stripped many stores of goods and tens of thousands faced a fourth day without water or power yesterday in the aftermath of Hurricane Odile.

Authorities told local radio that officers would stop and question anyone found on the streets, after nightfall Wednesday, to make sure they had legitimate business at that hour. Officials stopped short of calling it a curfew.

The measure sought to allay security concerns after days of looting that extended from convenience stores to big-box retailers. Some residents worried that private homes and condos could be next.

"People are running down streets with shopping carts, and you can see the desperation," Madelynn Pase, a 23-year-old Canadian living in Los Cabos, said by phone. "The supermarkets are all empty, so they're going to go to the next best thing."

Pase said people had been walking around at night, shining flashlights into residences, including hers, and she worried would-be robbers could be casing potential targets. She spent the previous two nights sleeping on the floor to make it seem like her place was abandoned, and, therefore, without any food inside.