Five heartless thieves have been arrested for ransacking homes ravaged by tornado victims in Kentucky, officials said.
The group of looters reportedly traveled to an area “particularly affected by the tornado” on Friday and ransacked destroyed homes, according to Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden.
Law enforcement officers from several agencies quickly converged on the group who were arrested as they attempted to flee the area with several damaged vehicles in tow.
The vehicles “belonged to tornado victims who were moved by the tornado, to hospital and / or deceased,” said Hayden.
When confronted with officers, members of the group told conflicting stories, with some claiming they had been given permission to be there, which MPs refuted after contacting the owners.
In addition to cars and other household items, two of the suspects were found in possession of methamphetamine.
Kaitlyn Moore, 29, was found with methamphetamine hidden in her body cavity, which she said was withheld from police when the group was arrested. She was charged with car theft, possession of methamphetamine and tampering with evidence. No personal address has been disclosed by the authorities.
Linda Morris, 52, of Dresden, Tennessee, was found with needles containing methamphetamine in the vehicle she was driving and in her purse. She was also found in possession of copper cables and a brand new pair of women’s Ugg boots stolen from a storm victim’s home. She was charged with auto theft, theft of personal property, possession of methamphetamine and driving with a suspended license.
Kevin Stowe, 55, of Union City, Tennessee, was found with more than $ 120,000 in his possession and has been charged with auto theft and theft of a motor vehicle license plate.
Ronnie White, 57, and Lynne Bailey, 56, both of Hickman, Ky., Have both been charged with illegal driving.
It was not the first time that looters had struck the homes of victims of recent tornadoes.
Four Michigan men were arrested in nearby Princeton on Friday for also attempting to steal storm-damaged vehicles from the victims’ homes.
In response to the arrests, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron warned that “looting and theft will not be tolerated.”
“Our office has spoken with Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden and Commonwealth Lawyer Richie Kemp, and the full force of the law will be applied against anyone who attempts to take advantage of Kentuckians,” the AG said. said in a press release.
A total of 78 Kentuckians were killed in the devastating tornado that ravaged the region on December 10 and 11. Governor Andy Beshear confirmed on Saturday that all missing people have been found.
In total, at least 92 deaths have been confirmed in several states.