Northern California law enforcement is reportedly investigating reports of “fake firefighters” looking to loot homes and businesses in Sonoma County as wildfires continue to burn.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office told reporters it has around 300 officers patrolling the area and warned them to keep their eyes peeled for the possible “fake firefighters.”
.@sonomasheriff says they have roughly 300 law enforcement on the street today. The firefighters have been told to watch out for some “fake firefighters” who they’ve heard might be going around trying to do some looting. #kincadefire
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) October 30, 2019
“We did get a report yesterday of possibly some fake firefighters out there, wanting to do some looting,” Kincade Fire. Sgt. Shawn Murphy told firefighters during a briefing.
‘You guys don’t want that, you don’t want a couple of idiots to ruin your outstanding reputation, so if you see them please report them to us. Check their credentials. Let’s get them out of there,’ Murphy added.
Thus far, no suspects impersonating firefighters have been identified by law enforcement.
Three reports of looting have been reported, though no arrests were made
“They’re taking advantage knowing that first responders, police, everyone is so busy. It’s very disheartening,” said Santa Rosa resident Jennie Cormie.
“That’s the most terrible thing I’ve ever heard,” added Healdsburg resident Shaun Brewer. “Anybody pretending to do that, that’s just total fraud.”
The Kincade blaze, which began on October 23rd, has burned 76,825 acres of land. The fire has destroyed 282 structures and is only 60% contained, according to Cal Fire.