Report– Looters Rob Firefighter Battling California Wildfires: ‘It’s Sickening’

A firefighter rubs his head while watching the LNU Lightning Complex fires spread through the Berryessa Estates neighborhood of unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. The blaze forced thousands to flee and destroyed hundreds of homes and other structures. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
AP Photo/Noah Berger

Looters reportedly stole from a firefighter over the weekend in Santa Cruz, California, as he helped battle fires raging in the area.

The Santa Cruz Fire Ground Commander had returned to his work vehicle and noticed his wallet was missing and then discovered his bank account was empty, according to KRON 4.

“It’s unfortunate and sickening that one of our Fire Ground Commanders in that area, while out taking care of business and directing firefighting crews, somebody entered his department vehicle and stole his wallet and drained his bank account,” a Cal Fire official said during a press briefing on Sunday.

He continued:

So that’s the extent that these people have gone. Again, this is why we have asked for people to evacuate. The sheriff’s department has done a fantastic job in trying to wrangle this. But again, this is what we have as a result. It’s saddening, it’s sickening, and we are doing everything we can do try to help the community and unfortunately, these happen.

Following the incident, the CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit warned social media users to beware of a GoFundMe account claiming to be set up to help the firefighter whose belongings were stolen:

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that five suspected looters had been arrested for targeting homes of wildfire evacuees, according to Breitbart News.

“In no way are we leaving these areas unsecured, we are doing our best and will continue to do our best and if you come to victimize our community you will see that,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

Sunday morning, the CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit tweeted video footage of a firefighter driving through Big Basin Redwoods State Park as flames covered the ground and trees:

“The CZU Lightning Complex fires, affecting San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, have expanded to more than 71,000 acres and are 17% contained at last check,” the KRON 4 report stated.

In a tweet Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said California was battling two of the largest fires in state history with “585 fires & 12,000 lightning strikes in the last week.”

Newsom also thanked President Trump for approving the state’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to strengthen its emergency response to the wildfires.

“These are unprecedented times but CA’s resilient as hell. We’ll get through this,” he concluded.


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