NewsLocal NewsInvestigations

Actions

Burglaries increase in Palm Beach County during coronavirus, state attorney says

Dave Aronberg says 'enhancer penalty' applied to crimes during state of emergency
Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 22:27:54-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — One crime seems to be going up in Palm Beach County amid social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, according to state attorney Dave Aronberg.

"We have seen an uptick in the number of burglaries because, unfortunately, some people are trying to take advantage of others during this time of crisis," Aronberg told Contact 5 investigator Merris Badcock.

Aronberg said now is not the time to take advantage of others.

"They should know that if you commit a burglary during a state of emergency like this, there is an enhancer penalty applied to it," Aronberg said. "The third-degree felony becomes a second-degree felony, and a second-degree felony becomes a first-degree felony. That's a big difference."

Aronberg is also working with law enforcement agencies to investigate any price-gouging complaints.

"Anything that comes in our office that involves coronavirus, whether it is a case of looting or a violation of a quarantine order, will get an expedited review," Aronberg said.

Anyone with price-gouging tips can report it to the Florida Attorney General hotline at 866-9-NO-SCAM.

'WPTV Weekdays 4:30-7:00 AM' sidebar graphic

Start Your Morning Right

Email the Contact 5 Investigators
Share your news tips and story ideas with WPTV's investigations team.