Thieves are taking advantage of a historically devastating Colorado fire by looting evacuated homes.
KKTV reports that Colorado Springs police have confirmed 24 burglaries and attempted burglaries in evacuation zones since the Waldo Canyon fire was sparked last week.
“It’s almost as bad as the house being burned down, because you feel violated that there are people out there that prey upon victims that are already suffering,” Linda Burton told the station on Saturday. ”I feel like I have been hit by a train.”
Last week, 38-year-old Belinda Yates and 36-year-old Shane Garrett were arrested for allegedly breaking into a home in a Colorado Springs subdivision that had been evacuated, according to KREX.
The alleged thieves were also carrying methamphetamine, according to police.
News of the burglaries comes as some residents of Colorado Springs and surrounding areas were allowed to return to their homes in the wake of a still-raging fire that has burned more than 17,000 acres, making it the largest in Colorado history.
The blaze has damaged or destroyed close to 350 homes, according to the AP.