Army troops on Monday patrolled the streets in four states where criminals over the weekend took advantage of a police strike to rob banks and loot stores.
In Pernambuco’s capital of Recife robbers hit eight banks, looted stores and broke into automatic teller machines. Motorists parked in restricted areas and drove the wrong way down one-way streets.
“It was hell,” said Recife store owner Alexandre Araujo. “We hope things will improve with Army troops patrolling the streets.”
More than 30,000 police, demanding higher pay, have walked off their jobs in the northeastern states of Pernambuco and Alagoas and in the central states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
Police are threatening to strike in four other states: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Ceara.
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