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Worry grows as looters target California wildfire evacuees

Posted at 5:43 AM, Aug 24, 2020

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - Thousands have been driven from their homes by the wildfire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco and authorities say criminals are taking advantage by burglarizing vacant homes.

At least 13 people have been arrested on suspicion of looting or planning to loot neighborhoods in Santa Cruz County.

Sheriff Jim Hart said Sunday more arrests are likely as at least 100 officers patrol evacuation zones.

Some of the arrests came from community tips, including from residents who spotted suspicious activity on their home security cameras.

Hart vowed to catch the thief who broke into a fire commander's vehicle and stole personal items, including a wallet.