Thief’s playground! Cops round up Coney Island looters

Coney Island was the scene of widespread looting from Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning, while shopkeepers shut their gates and sought shelter from Hurricane Sandy. Here’s a sampling of what happened:

• Officers arrested two 29-year-old men outside a Mermaid Avenue bodega between W. 23rd and W. 24th streets after they found the men shoving goods from store shelves into black bags — bags they dropped upon seeing the officers. Cops found 18 cigars, four packs of cigarettes, six energy drinks, 24 scratch-off lottery tickets, 13 packs of incense, and 17 packages of rolling papers inside the suspect’s loot bag.

• Cops arrested a 51-year-old man who was found crawling under a store’s roll-down gate on Mermaid Avenue between W. 30th and W. 31st streets on Monday. A cop saw the suspect wiggle under the gate at 2:20 pm and saw him emerge moments later carrying four flashlights and more than $400. When the cop stopped him, the would-be thief claimed that he needed to use the bathroom, officials said.

Overall, eight people were arrested in Coney Island for breaking into homes and storefronts, according to ABC news.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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