2 arrested for allegedly stealing from wildfire victims - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

2 arrested for allegedly stealing from wildfire victims


Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - Two suspected thieves are behind bars following an alleged aggravated assault against a victim of the recent wildfires.

According to the sheriff,  48-year-old Martin Rodriguez- Flores and his son, a minor, attempted to run over a victim with their vehicle. Investigators say it happened after the victim approached them while they were attempting to haul off some of his burned property on Sanford Street. Authorities report finding a stolen ATV and lawn mower in the two suspects' possession.

Rodriguez is in the Potter County jail. His son, is in the Youth Center of the High Plains. The two suspects face aggravated assault charges.

Potter county Sheriff Brian Thomas tells NewsChannel 10, he is infuriated people would attempt steal from victims of the recent wildfires.

"Most of them are devastated by what's happened and then you have someone to try and take what little they have left. Regardless if someone thinks its junk, its still theirs.  It still belongs to them, they don't have permission to be on their property. They need to stay out of there." said Sheriff Thomas.

According to the sheriff, there are 900 square miles in the county, so deputies can't just stay posted in Willow Creek all day to prevent thefts. However, the department is doing what it can to ensure wildfire victims are not continuously taken advantage of. Deputies who are assigned to the eastern district are under orders to patrol willow creek if they are not occupied with any other tasks.

Sheriff Thomas urges residents to be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior and report it immediately.