BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two Buffalo residents were arraigned Tuesday after they allegedly looted a Bailey Avenue store in the days following the December 2022 blizzard, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Walter Hicks, 35, and Shaniece Jones, 35, were both charged with one count of third-degree burglary.

Officials say around 8 p.m. on Dec. 27, police responded to a reported burglary at a Family Dollar store on the 2500 block of Bailey Avenue. The store was closed at the time due to the blizzard and prior looting incidents.

Hicks and Jones allegedly entered and remained inside the store unlawfully with the intent to steal merchandise, according to officials. They were both arrested after police found them in a back room of the store.

“These defendants allegedly looted a store while our police and first responders were tirelessly working to save lives during this deadly winter storm,” Erie County DA John Flynn said. “My office is committed to prosecuting these offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”

Hicks and Jones face a maximum of seven years in prison if they are convicted. Both were released on their own recognizance as the charge is a non-qualifying offense for bail.

Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.