07/30/2013 11:29 EDT | Updated 09/29/2013 05:12 EDT

High River Looting Crushes Spirits Of Flood Victims


HIGH RIVER, Alta. - As if the flood wasn't bad enough, residents of High River, Alta., are now coping with another problem - looting.

Police say there has been a rash of thefts in the community, which had to be entirely evacuated last month due to the flooding that swept through southern Alberta.

Last week, someone went through a subdivision where homes had been torn apart and left to air out and stole copper wire and pipe.

RCMP Const. Jeff MacBeth says the opportunistic thieves are revictimizing people who have already been through a lot.

He says it's hindering the community's recovery.

Business are being hit as well - the owner of the Cakery Bakery moved all her equipment outside to let it dry out, and much of it ended up being stolen.

"One minute it's there and one minute it's gone,'' said Katie Vogt of the $150,000 worth of mixers, racks and ovens.

"They had a Bobcat, a front-end loader, a big garbage trailer - they just came in and hauled it all away.''

Yousra Jomha was at home cleaning up when a man in a Bobcat drove up and told her he worked for the town, then tried to take away her filing cabinet.

"How would you like it if I went to your front lawn and said, 'hi there, I really like whatever you have,' and I took it and off I went, claiming it's mine but profiting from it?'' she asked.

"That's not right. And that's what's happening to a lot of people.''

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