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Homeowners have explicit message for would-be looters

MOORE, Okla. – It has been eight days since the devastating tornado hit Moore and homeowners are still left with a big mess.

Many homeowners’ valuables remain in the open, making it easy for looters to invade the area.

Now, residents are finding ways to protect their belongings.

“That is about as low as you can be,” Spradling said.

Dalton Spradling lived on his property for the past 24 years.

Spradling has been keeping an eye out for looters; he said his friend down the road had a lot of his processions stolen.

“He just had some damage, lost power and was told that he had to leave the house,” Spradling said. “He comes back the next morning and all his electronics were stolen.”

Police said they’ve arrested nearly a dozen looters since last Monday’s storm and now homeowners are sending their own warning messages to protect their belongings.

“If you come into the area and take things, you will be arrested,” Lewis said.

Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said although homeowners have a right to protect their property, that doesn’t give them authority to shoot intruders.

However, he said the explicit messages could put fear in a potential looter’s footsteps.

“All their belongings are out here on their driveway and it’s very easy to take something that could be very valuable to them,” Lewis said.

As cleanup continues for Spradling, his lot filled with damage and debris still remains close to him and hopes a looter doesn’t cross his path.

“I hope I don’t catch them because I don’t know what my temper will do,” Spradling said.

Moore Police said looting is considered a county charge and suspects arrested face a misdemeanor and will be taken to jail.