NORMAN, Okla. — A Cleveland County teen is arrested for allegedly looting from wildfire victims.
The 18-year-old suspect is charged with concealing stolen property after sheriff’s deputies said they caught the accused thief red-handed.
It’s happened Wednesday afternoon.
A sheriff’s deputy drove past the burned out home just south of Norman and spotted two men carrying an air conditioner.
“This home was burned to the ground. The air conditioning unit was the only thing left on the property, so when you hear this, it’s disturbing,” Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Meghan McCormick said.
Last week’s wildfires devastated so many families; allegations of looting hit a nerve with those victims who wonder what sort of lowlife takes advantage of tragedy.
“It does make it worse to know someone’s stealing what didn’t burn,” fire victim Debi Marsh said.
One suspect escaped but deputies arrested 18-year-old Bryan Abner on scene and supposedly found a second smaller window air conditioner in the back of Abner’s pickup.
Investigators claim Abner confessed to the crime.
“I’m upset. I’m hurt,” Delayne Woodrow said.
Abner’s grandfather, who lives with the suspect, said the alleged theft upsets him and he’s not alone.
“It’s embarrassing. That’s what I told him. This is embarrassing,” Woodrow said.
“I wished to God they’d go back to the old days and just hang ’em,” Marsh said. “That way the other ones who want to do this might think twice about it.”
In addition to the suspect who ran from the scene, investigators are also looking for a third person who may have been involved in the attempted theft.
Anyone with information can call the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department.