Looting a problem for Magoffin residents

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

The sheriff in Magoffin County said some people are trying to take advantage of other's misfortune. Law enforcement agencies, both on and off duty, from across the state have pulled together to try and prevent looting.

Officials from police and fire departments in counties from Barren to Floyd counties have all come in to lend a hand.

Businesses, homes and other buildings in Salyersville were turned into piles of crumpled sheet metal. Insulation remnants floated off of tree branches and mattresses were found twenty feet up in the air inside of trees.

The people of Magoffin County have tried to pick up the pieces to the puzzles that have become their lives. Sheriff Carson Montgomery said some people are trying to make a bad situation even worse.

Montgomery said that the looting problem has gotten out of control and he had to have others come in to help with more than just clean up. He said people walk out with “about anything of value that they can carry” from cigarettes to sheet metal.

“We have had a lot of sight see'ers, a lot of looting, it was hard to control the crowd,” said Montgomery.

He said in order to protect what's left, he needed help, and he got it from the moment he needed it.

“No sheriff stands alone and when there is tragedy like this we try to rush in and help them as soon as possible,” said Floyd County Sheriff John Blackburn.

Several off-duty officers came in an unofficial capacity just to help because they felt it was the right thing to do. Ron Keaton, Lexington City Police Officer, said his wife’s brother’s home was destroyed, but he wanted to help others as well.

“A lot of people that we know from the community have lost their homes and we just want to be here to help them out,” said Keaton.

Montgomery said there has been an outpouring of support from agencies across the state coming to help, doing whatever they can to control the problem. The sheriff said he had one word to describe someone who would take away from those who have already had everything taken away from them.

“Disgusting, it is disgusting,” said Montgomery.
“I don't really know how to describe the way I do feel when I find somebody taking somebody's shoes or whatever they may have.”

Montgomery said he believed that taking something that does not belong to a person was wrong anyway.
“These people have bit hit hard and they certainly don't need to have anything stolen from them,” said Montgomery.

“It makes it even worse to steal off of people that has been damaged so bad,” said Blackburn.

The sheriff said it is something they will not tolerate. He advised people board up the homes that they cannot stay in. He also recommended that those who have decided to stay elsewhere ask a neighbor to keep a watch on the place. He said they will be patrolling and just because the other officers are not from there, they will still be able to enforce the law.

“Anybody we catch bothering somebody's property, they will be put in jail,” said Montgomery.

Sheriff Montgomery said they already have made some arrests.

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