Thieves in Texas are posing as firefighters and Homeland Security agents in order to ransack homes in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
While thousands have fled as their homes lie underwater, looters are using the image of authority to evacuate those still standing.
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City officials have reported car hijackings and the 'robbing of innocents', resulting in the enforcement of a strict overnight curfew.
The city of Houston has announced a clampdown between the hours of midnight and 5am, with officials adding a further warning for people to ask anyone knocking on their doors for official badges and credentials.
They have also issued a statement promising tougher punishment under Texas law for those committing burglaries in a state of crisis.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg was confident in saying people displaced or harmed in the storm wouldn't become easy prey.
"Anyone who tries to take advantage of this storm and break into homes or businesses should know that they are going to feel the full weight of the law," she told the Houston Chronicle.
"Offenders will be persecuted around the clock, without delay."