Update (Sep. 22, 2017; 2:15 p.m.): More robberies and lootings have been denounced by social media users since Thursday, September 21. Among the places affected by theft and looting are: a crumbling building in the intersection of Tonalá and Viaducto streets; an appartment building on the streets of Miramontes and Calzada del Hueso; Del Valle neighborhood; Álvaro Obregón Avenue; Desierto de los Leones Road; and the Gabriel Mancera/Eje 5 intersection.
In times of need, not everyone’s a good Samaritan.
Mexican newspaper El Universal reported that Twitter users have been denouncing instances of robbery throughout Mexico City after the capital was shaken by a 7.1. magnitude earthquake that hit the country’s central region Tuesday afternoon.
According to reports on social media, some have taken advantage of the chaos that ensued during the earthquake’s aftermath to rob pedestrians and drivers stuck in traffic. Most crimes reported happened on Constituyentes, en route to Santa Fe, as well as in the areas surrounding Monterrey Tech and Universidad Iberoamericana. Eje Central, Masaryk and Circuito Interior were also reported to be affected by robberies.
Mexico City Police Chief Hiram Almeida Estrada confirmed the legitimacy of these accounts, as reported by journalist Denise Maerker.
City authorities also warned against people posing as Civil Defense brigadiers in an attempt to break into houses and loot them. Mexico City’s Civil Defense Twitter account posted a couple tweets echoing the warning. “We inform you that Civil Defense brigades can be identified by their uniforms and the credentials they carry,” says one tweet. Another one states that brigadiers are “properly identified and will enter houses only when asked to.”
Informamos que las brigadas de esta Secretaría están debidamente identificadas con uniforme y credenciales pic.twitter.com/TzfTGw6JJc
— ProtecciónCivil CDMX (@SPCCDMX) 20 de septiembre de 2017
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa said the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) is attending to all reported robberies. Members of the Federal Police were deployed to patrol affected areas and street cameras were being used to enforce security, he said in a TV interview with Denise Maerker and Joaquín López Dóriga.
“We have several cameras being used to attend emergencies,” he said, “but we’re also responding to all reports on social media and other sources. Each and every one is being taken care of.”