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Looting Reports Expected To Rise As Flood Victims Return Home

Weld County deputies keeping watch on neighborhoods (credit: CBS)

Weld County deputies keeping watch on neighborhoods (credit: CBS)

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MILLIKEN, Colo. (CBS4) – As Colorado rebuilds from the floods some survivors are being victimized again — this time by thieves. Now there’s an army of agencies helping protect what little some people have left.

The Colorado National Guard will keep watch on damaged neighborhoods in Longmont and Lyons indefinitely.

Given the scope of the flooding, the number of reports of looting is really quite low, but in one Milliken mobile home park alone there were three residences that were burglarized. It’s a lot like kicking someone when they’re down.

When the residents of the mobile home parked fled, the burglars arrived. Anna Vasquez returned to find several of the homes stripped.

“Jewelry, electronics, DVDs, movies; stuff you just, you know, don’t think to grab when you’re evacuating. You grab the most important things and you run,” Vasquez said.

It was the sentimental items that hurt the most.

“One of the things they did take was my mother’s ring, and that can’t be replaced. It wasn’t worth anything, but it was my mom’s,” Vasquez said.

Police are now standing guard nearby.

To the northeast in Evans the destruction is great. A chain-linked fence has been erected to keep looters out of the hardest-hit areas. Raquel Celis’ home was severely damaged. She says her neighbors have been victimized both by nature and by man.

“They lost almost everything as it is, and then go and taking their stuff on top of that isn’t fair, I don’t think it is, it’s not nice,” the woman said.

Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt says despite the wide-scale of flooding, they have received no reports of looting so far.

“I anticipate that as people are getting back into their homes, more accessibility to their property, we probably will start getting reports of property being missing,” Brandt said.

“You know, if they needed it worse than me, okay, it’s yours. I forgive you,” Vasquez said.

She may be forgiving, but the police are not. Law enforcement in Milliken say anyone who is caught looting will go to jail.

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.