Officials say five cruel burglars were apprehended robbing tornado victims’ homes in Kentucky.
According to Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden, a group of looters allegedly went to an area “especially heavily damaged by the tornado” on Friday and raided the destroyed homes.
Multiple law enforcement agencies swiftly converged on the group, which had been halted while attempting to depart the scene with several damaged vehicles in tow.
“The automobiles belonged to storm victims who had been displaced by the tornado, were in the hospital, or had died,” Hayden said.
When approached by cops, members of the group told officers contradictory accounts, with some saying they had permission to be there, which deputies contradicted after speaking with the homeowners.
Two of the suspects were caught in possession of methamphetamines in addition to the autos and other home items.
When the group was detained, Kaitlyn Moore, 29, was discovered with methamphetamine stashed in her body cavities, which she stated authorities were hidden when they were stopped. She was accused of auto theft, methamphetamine possession, and evidence tampering. Officials did not reveal the location of the suspect’s residence.
Linda Morris, 52, of Dresden, Tennessee, was discovered with methamphetamine-laced syringes in her handbag and in the vehicle she was driving. She was also found with copper wiring and a brand new pair of women’s Ugg boots stolen from the residence of a storm victim. She was charged with auto theft, theft of personal property, methamphetamine possession, and driving while her license was suspended.
Kevin Stowe, 55, of Union City, Tennessee, was arrested and charged with theft of an automobile and theft of a motor vehicle registration plate after being discovered with over $120,000 in his hands.
Ronnie White, 57, and Lynne Bailey, 56, both of Hickman, Kentucky, were arrested and charged with car theft.
It wasn’t the first time looters broke into the houses of tornado victims.
Four Michigan males were detained on Friday in nearby Princeton for attempting to steal storm-damaged automobiles from victims’ homes.
“Looting and stealing will not be condoned,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in response to the charges.
“Our office has spoken with Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden and Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Kemp, and anyone who tries to take advantage of Kentuckians will face the full force of the law,” the AG stated in a statement.
The deadly tornado that ripped through the region on December 10 and 11 killed 78 Kentuckians in total. Gov. Andy Beshear said on Saturday that all missing people had been found.
At least 92 people have been reported killed across multiple states.