At least 11 people have been arrested for allegedly stealing from tornado-damaged property in Kentucky, officials said Friday.
Four Michigan men were arrested Thursday for allegedly looting items from damaged residences and vehicles in Princeton in Caldwell County, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the Princeton Police Department said Friday.
- Ky. Corrections Officer among over 80 Killed by Tornadoes
- Ky. Police Search for Inmate Saved from Tornado-Leveled Factory
- Ky. Deputies Survive Deadly Tornado, Then Save Severely Injured Girl
- Ky. Police, Firefighters Relieve FD in Tornado's Aftermath
In a news release, Cameron said his Department of Criminal Investigations was assisting Princeton police on Meadowbrook Drive in the city Thursday with needs arising from last weekend's tornadoes when detectives noticed four men and started questioning them.
"The questioning revealed that the subjects had taken property from tornado-damaged vehicles and residences," said Cameron.
Cameron said Mitchell E. Stanton and Jesse H. Stanton, both of Coldwater, Mich., were arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools and receiving stolen property.
Sevon E. Gowen of Sturgis, Mich., was arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substance first degree methamphetamine, and promoting contraband first degree.
Brandon L. Ransbottom of Bronson, Michigan, was arrested and charged with possession of burglary tools, receiving stolen property, possession of handgun by a convicted felon, and possession of marijuana.
Cameron noted that the charges are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The Graves County sheriff's office posted on Facebook that sheriff deputies from Graves and Calloway counties, along with a state trooper, arrested six people Friday for stealing damaged vehicles, copper and other items from storm-ravaged Pritchett and Cardinal Road areas.
Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said a caravan of suspects with stolen property was stopped and arrested at the intersection of US 45S and Pritchett Road. Hayden displayed several photos of damaged vehicles, including a church bus.
Meanwhile, Ronnie Ward, spokesman for the Bowling Green Police Department, said there had been one arrest there for looting in the wake of the tornadoes, which killed 77 and injured more than 100 in the state.
Such thefts have not been a major problem in the city; there have been "small pockets" of people stealing items from damaged businesses, primarily on the 31W bypass, Ward said.
Police believe they have been able to curtail the activity, he said.
Earlier Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear warned against looting in damaged areas and vowed that those found guilty of it would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He called the action "despicable."
(c)2021 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)
Visit the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.) at www.kentucky.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.