It’s been over a week since the deadly tornado strike on Kentucky left an estimated 76 people dead.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear gave an updated count of the death toll at a press conference on Monday. Over the weekend, he revealed that the death toll had risen to 78, but stated that there were inconsistencies on the local level that they were trying to sort through.
After determining the death toll to be 75, one worker from the Mayfield Candle Factory passed away from their injuries, now raising the death toll to 76. The total number of candle factory workers is now nine.
Beshear further revealed that there are no more active search and rescue operations taking place in Kentucky and those who have been reported missing have all been accounted for. More than 900 storm victims are being housed at state parks and hotels, and Beshear recently revealed that “truckloads” of toys are being distributed to children displaced by the storm just before the Christmas holiday.
Although some people took the time to donate toys and other supplies to families in need, others saw an opportunity to take advantage of the chaos.
Looters Caught Stealing From Homes Destroyed By The Tornado
According to Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden, five thieves were arrested for looting damaged homes and stealing vehicles that belonged to people who had either left their homes or passed away from the storm.
Haden said that the vehicles “were owned by tornado victims that have been displaced by the tornado, in the hospital, and/or deceased.”
In addition to whatever valuables they could find among the wreckage, two suspects in the group were found to have methamphetamines in their possession. Two of those arrested were from Kentucky, while two others were from the neighboring state of Tennessee.
Group Of Five Looters In Custody After ‘Heartless’ Stealing
No home address was located for Kaitlyn Moore, 29, who admitted that she had methamphetamine hidden in a body cavity when she was arrested. She was charged with automobile theft, possession of methamphetamine, and tampering with evidence.
Lynne Bailey, 56, and Ronnie White, 57, were both from Hickman, Kentucky. Both were charged with unlawful taking of automobiles.
Linda Morris, 52, of Dresden, Tennessee, reportedly had syringes of methamphetamine in her vehicle and in her purse. She was also found with items of value stolen from a victim’s home. She was charged with automobile theft, theft of personal property, possession of methamphetamine, and driving with a suspended license.
Kevin Stowe, 55, of Union City, Tennessee, was found with over $120,000 dollars and was charged with theft of an automobile and theft of a motor vehicle registration plate.
In recent weeks, many looters have tried to take advantage of those victimized or killed by recent storms. On Friday, four men in Michigan were arrested after they were attempting to steal vehicles from victims’ homes.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a statement that made it clear: “Looting and theft will not be tolerated.”
“Our office has spoken with Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden and Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Kemp, and the full force of the law will be brought against anyone who tries to take advantage of Kentuckians,” he added.