Pu Rui, AP
In natural disasters, the firefighters and rescue workers arrive first — and, not soon after, the looters, usually a step or two ahead of the relief workers.
Jon Fisher of Moore, Okla., who lost everything in last month's tornado, told Newsmax that looters set in almost immediately, and says that brazen thefts were observed nearly as soon as the storm cleared out:
"The houses are still standing and looters are kicking in doors and taking TVs and appliances. They arrested two guys in my neighborhood the night of the tornado who were carrying out a love seat and couch."
After a few days, better-organized looters began arriving, often from great distances. Moore police, for instance, arrested three men from Virginia for looting easily resalable copper wire and scrap metal from homes destroyed in the tornado, according to Newsmax.
Unfortunately, the best defense against looters is experience, and no one willingly wants to go through enough tornadoes, floods and hurricanes to gain it. Moore City Manager Steve Eddy told Newsmax: "We learned from the first tornado, and we have officers in that area 24/7. We have no tolerance for it."
It is particularly cruel that people who have lost almost everything in a natural disaster must be subjected to a plague of thieves who descend on their ruined home to steal what little might be left.