Little Axe homeowners warn looters

Posted on: 5:20 pm, June 24, 2013, by , updated on: 07:44am, June 25, 2013

LITTLE AXE, Okla. – Homeowners in the Little Axe and Newalla areas are sending a warning to looters.

Walking around the community, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t had a run in with at least one person taking scrap metal or debris from the disaster zone.

One woman, Darcy Edwards, spelled out her warning on her boarded up garage door,  “Looters will be shot.”

“We will shoot you on sight and that’s what I would say to a looter coming on to our property,” Edwards said.

Her home and her neighbors’ homes were ripped apart by the May 19 tornado.

A month later, the volunteers are fading but looters are appearing more and more.

They slowly take their pick of the debris piles.

Cleveland County Sheriff’s Deputies said suspected looters Candy Jenkins and Christopher Allen admitted to stealing scrap from Harrah Rd. and Pecan Creek Rd. Friday.

“Both the people told deputies that they were taking metal and some wood which they had been doing for the past couple weeks but they did not have permission from property owners, nor did the people live in the area,” Meghan McCormick said, Sheriff’s Office.

Just two weeks before, investigators said they caught Johnny Harris and Johnathan Muise stealing copper and metal from the disaster area.

They told deputies they wanted to make a profit, a profit homeowners like Ernest Coop could use themselves.

“You could use it to replace something that you lost or something to that category,” Coop said.

A month after the tornado stole their houses, homeowners will not sit back and let looters steal even more.

“We’ve got a shotgun and we will do it,” Edwards said. “Like I said, those people are worse than murderers, to take from somebody who’s had everything taken from them.”

Since the government declared parts of Cleveland County a disaster area, it is illegal to take anything from the area, even if it has no monetary value.

If you see anyone taking property from a disaster zone, call 911 to report the crime.