Adults arrested for looting during last month's 25-hour blackout had a higher rate of employment, higher average income and lower rate of welfare assistance than the average defendant in the criminal justice system, officials said yesterday. A 25-page demographic profile of 2706 adult looting defendants, released by the mayor's office, showed that 45 per cent were employed and 10 per cent were on welfare. According to the study, by Crime Justice Agency Inc., 30 per cent of the "average" defendant population in the criminal justice system are employed and 15 per cent are welfare recipients.

Other major findings:

64 per cent of the defendants had been arrested previously compared to 69 per cent of the city's general defendant population;

65 per cent of the defendants were black, 30 per cent Hispanic and 5 per cent white, about the same percentages as in arrest patterns in the defendant population;

The defendants had "slightly stronger community ties" than the general defendant population, based on employment rates, family size and length of residence: almost all were arrested in their own neighborhoods.

Across the Hudson in Bayonne, N.J., Chief Edward Adams said police will shoot to wound looters in the event of a power blackout there: "If would-be looters know beforehand that they'll be shot, then they'll stay home where they belong."