Looters target Cleveland neighborhoods damaged by tornadoes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Looters target Cleveland neighborhoods damaged by tornadoes

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CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Bradley County deputies arrested Scott Carey after they caught him hiding in the bushes of his neighbors home.

Investigators said Carey had a bag of tools that belonged to Kristy Schlageter, but she said she asked Carey to stand guard.

"We found our stuff everywhere, and they came and took him to jail," says Schlageter.

Carey's brother, John, said the neighborhood off Williamsburg Road has been targeted since the storm. And his brother was just in the wrong place trying to do the right thing.

"He went up there to run off looters and went to their house and got arrested. The thieves got out the back door," says John Carey.

A judge dismissed Carey's charges Thursday

Tyler Smith tells me he chased off a would-be looter last night.

He says someone broke into his neighbor's home and he saw flashlights in the kitchen. He confronted the man who took off running.

"I would say they are the lowest of the low because they hit people whose homes were hit and it is horrible to do that to someone," says Smith.

Schlageter agreed, and said it's hard enough getting her life back in order after the storm.

"I say they need help. Why loot people in a disaster? it makes no sense," says Schlageter.

Anyone accused of committing a crime in a disaster area can face double the penalty.

Bradley deputies are committed to stopping the looting, but remind you that even when your property is damaged, it's your responsibility to keep it secure.

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