Dallas Tornado Victims Also Deal With Looters

Some property owners hired private security to keep watch overnight

While many homeowners and business owners in Dallas try to rebuild after last month's tornado, they are also forced to deal with possible looters.

Last week, Dallas police arrested Toni Renee Caldwell, 43, and Rhonda Cheryl Harper, 45, who are accused of stealing from a tornado-damaged home.

Around the affected areas, some property owners have hired private security to keep watch overnight while others have taken to watching over damaged property themselves.

"I have to stay here overnight," gas station employee, Mickey DeLeoa said. "I’ve stayed here ever since the tornado happened."

According to DeLeoa, his gas station sustained more than $182,000 in damage, but that hasn’t stopped would-be looters from looking for something to take.

"I stay in a little small restroom to make sure that no one comes in and breaks in and steals stuff," he said. "We have ATMs still in there, people thinking there is money in there, but there is no money in there."

DeLeoa explained the security bars were bent during the tornado, making people think they are an easy target.

"They already arrested somebody for taking scrap metal from here," he said.

DeLeoa said having to deal with looters adds to the stress of an already complicated situation dealing with the damage and the storm.

"[It is frustrating] when you take from us and we are already down and are trying to come back up," he said. "I’ve been here since the tornado happened and I haven’t seen any money in my pocket… hopefully things will get better."

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