The damage done by Hurricane Harvey is far from fully realized this week, but the human element’s nefarious acts are at the forefront of one sheriff’s mind.
Harvey, a storm that will likely go down in history as the most expensive natural disaster in the history of the United States, pummeled the Lone Star State last week, both smashing coastal communities and stalling for days over the inland city of Houston. Residents of the bustling metropolis were forced to deal with a number threats that rode in on the storm, including alligators taking up refuge in their flooded homes.
Another kind of vermin was on the loose as well, as some of Houston’s less reputable ruffians took to looting, shooting, and otherwise creating chaos for rescue workers and small business owners.
Now, one Sheriff in Texas has a message for those who would dare to take advantage of his affected residents, and it’s a doozy.
“‘As far as Fort Bend County, we haven’t [had looting],’ Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told Fox News, but he isn’t taking any chances.
“‘I made a comment the other day that we support the Second Amendment here in Fort Bend County and there are many of us that are armed,’ Nehls said. ‘I would caution those that want to come and prey on our people here in Fort Bend County, that are suffering so much right now, you may want to stay out of Fort Bend County, because you could leave this county in a bag.’
“Because in Texas, ordinary citizens have the legal right to dispatch looters in defense of their own property or the property of others.
“In the destructive wake of Hurricane Harvey there have been several reports of looters posing as rescue workers even as residents have taken up arms to protect their homes and livelihoods.”
Concerned citizens have taken up vigilante roles in the wake of widespread looting in Houston, hoping to protect the businesses in their towns and cities by standing, armed, at the doors.
This self-sufficient role-switch has allowed police and rescue workers to use their resources in a far more productive manner, as search and recovery efforts still dominate the needs of the people of Texas.