A Key West man was sentenced to almost four years in state prison this week for burglarizing a home in the days after Hurricane Irma when a governor-ordered state of emergency was in effect.
While most Florida Keys residents were still recovering from the Category 4 Irma, which struck the Keys on Sept. 10, Maurice Matticx, 41, broke into a house in Key West and stole $300, an iPhone, a shirt and a watch, said Larry Kahn, spokesman for the Monroe County State Attorney's Office.
The house's resident caught Matticx in the act, Assistant State Attorney Patrick Flanigan said.
On top of his prison sentence, Monroe County Circuit Judge Mark Jones sentenced Matticx to 36 months probation when he's released.
Matticx pleaded guilty to burglary and grand theft. The burglary charge would normally be a second-degree felony, but he committed the crime during a state of emergency declared by Gov. Rick Scott days before the hurricane.
Flanigan said Matticx crimes "were facilitated by the conditions arising from the emergency."