Screenshot: Hannah Brewer (CBS 17)

Police in North Carolina arrested at least five suspects after store managers asked cops to “stand down” when people affected by Hurricane Florence broke in and took items from a local Family Dollar outlet.

Most of the area surrounding Wilmington, NC is struggling to recover after Hurricane Florence battered the coastal North Carolina town, leaving behind a trail of flooding, structural damage and 106,000 Hanover County, NC residents without power, the Greenville News reports.

On Saturday, after the Category 1 hurricane had devastated the city, local television stations began receiving reports of looting at a Family Dollar that sits directly across from Houston Moore Terrace, one of the largest of Wilmington’s 8 public housing complexes, but the news outlets noticed that there were no law enforcement officers around.

That was because, when cops initially arrived on the scene, the business’ owners told cops that he or she didn’t want to press charges against the people who were taking items from the store. WECT reports that officers “were told by management of the Family Dollar to stand down after receiving reports of looting at the store,” so they did not arrest anyone.

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The police department tweeted: “We are aware of the looting occurring at the Family Dollar Store at 13th & Greenfield Sts, unfortunately management has asked not to intervene at this time.”

But instead of clearing roadways or providing assistance to people affected by the hurricane, flooding or power outages, the cops managed to convince the discount store’s owners to press charges after officers “consulted with the district attorney.” When the proprietor relented, the law enforcement officers immediately began the hard work of tracking down the brazen criminal masterminds who made off with the store’s valuable stash of one-ply toilet tissue and off-brand pine-scented cleanser.

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First, the brave heroes leaped into action by placing a curfew on the area around the Family Dollar store. Then they began reviewing news footage of the looting, asking the public for help. As the entire city waited with bated breath, wondering how they could sleep knowing that there were people roaming the streets with cases of free, barely-carbonated cases of cheap cookout soda, the valiant first responders finally apprehended the culprits, promising to punish them to the fullest extent of the law.

So when you say your prayers tonight, thank your supreme being for the courageous men and women of the Wilmington Police Department. As their community dealt with death, destruction and disaster, the po-po protectors were able to keep down the insurance claims of a profitable business who told them they didn’t give a damn about that stuff anyway.

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Wilmingtonians should rest peacefully knowing that their dish detergents made in China and aluminum foil birthday balloons are still on the shelves of the Family Dollar Store across the street from the projects, while the people desperate enough to risk their freedom for pennies worth of merchandise will now become familiar with another one of America’s biggest public housing complexes for the poor—the prison industrial one.

And God Bless America.