|Updated: 8/13/2012 9:25 am
||Published: 8/10/2012 4:39 pm
As wildfire victims in Creek County start to move forward by putting debris in piles for removal residents warn of possible looters.
The Creek County Sheriff’s Office reports they have special patrols for deputies in the wildfire areas working twelve-hour shifts.
On Wednesday, a father near Olive was killed inside his home. His home did not burn in the grassfires and detectives are unsure if the homicide is connected to looters.
Meantime, one family is warning about potential thieves.
“I hope that the sign says enough,” said Brian Swift.
The man spray painted “Looter Disposal Vehicle” on his bulldozer. He also painted a sign on cardboard outside his home “Looters will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.”
“If I have to shoot them, I’ll bury them and lie about it,” said Swift.
The man said he was not kidding.
“I have no sympathy for thieves and I think they should all be incarcerated beyond belief. We are left to fend for ourselves,” said Swift. “I know belongings can be replaced and I understand that.”
However, Swift is worried about the man killed by a possible intruder near Olive in the wildfire aftermath.
“I have no reluctance in killing a thief especially a looter,” said Swift.
His wife is just as fired up about thieves. She is watching anyone on their road that doesn’t belong and making sure there are no looters trying to make quick cash off someone else’s loss.
“We are making sure that someone is home at all times. It’s hard on us,” said Mrs. Swift.
The Swifts were able to save their home but they lost power and didn’t want to abandon their home.
“We are mad that people would do that to us. It’s like we haven’t been through enough and then they want to come take what we saved,” said Mrs. Swift.
They know the law can’t be everywhere to watch for looters and Mr. Swift said he’s warned the looters.
“You come across the line and you don’t have permission you are on your own,” said Swift.
Authorities are warning of scams during the aftermath. They recommend fire victims keep a watchful eye on illegitimate tree and debris services.
You should their history before handing over any cash.
If you are suspicious of a service call police or the Sheriff’s Office.
Looting is a burglary crime and a felony. If caught and convicted offenders could serve time in prison.
Creek County Sheriff’s Office investigators said they have received burglary cases since the wildfires but do not know if they are related to looters.