Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Looting: Crime After the Storm
Joplin, Mo.
Joplin, Mo.
After a devastating tornado tore through the town of Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011, residents were left amidst the rubble that remained of their homes and former lives. The death toll was estimated at 159, making it the seventh deadliest tornado in American history.
But in the wake of the destruction, there were the opportunistic few who chose to take advantage of others' misfortune, rifling through demolished homes and businesses in search of undamaged valuables. Among them, three firefighters from Baxter Springs, Kan., were fired and their Chief placed on administrative leave after looting allegations against them were brought forth. Speaking about the danger of looting and the arrests made in 17 thefts and 3 burglaries within a week after the tornado, Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts said, "Please understand, we are going to be very, very proactive. It is the only way we can ensure that people who have already been victims of something horrendous don't continue to be victimized by their fellow human beings."
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