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(L) Getty Images, (R) Polk County Sheriffs Office

A sheriff in Florida, which is in the path of Hurricane Irma, has made plans to use the opportunity to catch criminals taking shelter from the extreme weather.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, tweeted on Wednesday that law enforcement would be checking IDs at shelters. He warned that 'sex offenders/predators' will not be allowed.

He added:

The announcements came as the Category 5 Irma destroyed islands in the Caribbean, and headed towards Florida.

According to the New York Times, Polk County has more than 600,000 residents, and 47 shelters yet to be opened to the public.

Spokesperson for the sheriff, Carrie E. Hortsman told the Orlando Sentinel:

We hope it actually leads to more people turning themselves in.

She told the New York Times that is was 'normal protocol' to have an accountability log of persons in the shelter.

Hortsman also denied that the searches would concern immigration checks.

During Hurricane Harvey and 2012's Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana, the New York Times similarly drew attention to law enforcement tactics that could be interpreted as taking advantage of a natural disaster.

HT New York Times

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