Despite the incredible outpouring of kindness and unity following Hurricane Harvey, there are some seeking to take advantage of the chaos, according to The Daily Caller.
Troy Nehls, County Sheriff for Fort Bend, warns that looters may be in more danger then they realize trying to rob Texans. “I made a comment the other day that we support the Second Amendment here in Fort Bend County and there are many of us that are armed. I would caution those that want to come and prey on our people here in Fort Bend County that are suffering so much right now, you may want to stay out of Fort Bend County because you could leave this county in a bag.”
Sheriff Troy Nehls: “We support the 2nd Amendment… I would caution those that want to come & prey on our people here in Fort Bend County.” pic.twitter.com/AW9L1x3cOI
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 2, 2017
The threat comes on the heels of numerous reports of looters trying to take advantage of the situation Hurricane Harvey left the region in. The Daily Caller reports that some looters even went so far as to attack firefighters seeking to rescue people.
Officer Joe Gamaldi told reporters of the attack, “We had firefighters out there helping people, and looters started firing on them. We sent officers down there on a code 1 to assist, and they too came under fire.”
He said that, fortunately, no one was injured in the horrid attack. “This was absolutely the most despicable and disgusting thing that you could imagine. That our officers had to stop what they were doing, high water rescues and saving lives, to deal with looters firing at our officers and firefighters.”
Gamaldi warned looters of the consequences if they continued. “If you are caught, you will go to jail and there will be severe consequences.”
Brett Ligon, Montgomery County District Attorney, made it clear that looters faced greater punishment during natural disasters than other times, saying that, “Leniency and probation will be off the table for these offenses committed during this time.”
According to the Texas Chronicle, at least 40 people were arrested in Harris county alone for theft, scams, and other disgusting criminal behavior. The situation became so bad that Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, imposed a citywide curfew between the hours of midnight and 5am. “It was effective and it’s going to remain in effect until we kind of get past the situations we’re in.”
One of the most common scams, according to officials, saw criminals posing as rescue workers offering to rescue flood victims — only to turn around and ransack the homes once the homeowners were gone.
Numerous stores and businesses have also been ransacked, and not just for supplies like food, medicine, or water, but petty items like cash and cigarettes.
Nelly Castillo, a spokeswoman for the grocery store chain Fiesta Mart, said they had at least 20 people steal money, cell phones, and liquor. “Fiesta is disappointed that a small number of individuals chose to take advantage of the emergency situation to loot and steal from one of our stores. This disturbing activity will delay reopening of this store, as we make repairs caused by the vandals. Nevertheless, Fiesta will re-open the store as quickly as possible.”
Hopefully, the looting will subside as things begin to return to normal. Thank goodness for the second amendment, which allows homeowners to protect themselves from those despicable men and women of society who prey on the desperate.