HOUSTON - Two Michigan men working for restoration company, Servpro, are in a Texas jail after being caught on camera allegedly trying to steal items from a home damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
The two men traveled to Houston from the Lapeer area, which is in the thumb area of Michigan. On Tuesday Sept. 5, they were caught on camera rifling through the upstairs of a home they were supposed to be cleaning. If it's true, they could face serious consequences.
"There was no reason for them to be up there," said Jordan Blair, who rents a room at the home. "Our house flooded, now you’re going to steal?"
The two men could be seen using their phones as flashlights, when they went through the upstairs bedrooms. Blair says the flooding was on the first floor. After calling Houston Police, 23-year old Brandon Bonesteel and 22-year old Richard Allen Edwards were arrested and charged.
The alleged crimes come at a time when local authorities warned people about looting. Under Texas law, punishments increase for crimes such as assault, robbery or burglary during times of a disaster.
Kim Brooks, Communications Specialist with Servpro says, “These employees were fired on the spot. This is not how we do business. It's an unfortunate situation."
Both are charged with Burglary Habitation, which is a second degree felony. Normally, it would carry a penalty of 2-20 years. In a time of emergency, the sentencing guidelines are increased to 5 years to life.
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