Looters Target Fire Victims

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 2:42pm

Victims of Texas wildfires now facing more hardships.

Sitting at the intersection of Bluebonnet Drive and Sage Road in Bastrop, Texas is the Hewett family.

Braving the triple-digit temperatures, they are standing guard over their fire-ravaged neighborhood that is now being threatened by looters.

"They took our generator, which is the one thing we really needed and that was a real drag," explained Cathy Hewett.

The Hewett family was allowed back into their home on Thursday -- it was not damaged by fire.

Later that day, they left for a few hours to go to the store and when they returned they found they were robbed.

They not only called police, but on neighbors to help protect their property.

Many homes off Sage Road are destroyed.

Still, residents are taking turns at a makeshift road block to keep unwanted visitors out.

"We do it 24 hours a day. There is somebody here. And we call each other and make plans and we have got it on both sides of the street and all night long," Hewett explained.

She said that any car that comes in or out of the neighborhood is photographed and the license plate number is written down.

"If they want to sneak in and get something they are not going to be able to do it," she said.

If a person does sneak in, it will be at his or her own risk.

The Hewetts put up a homemade sign on their gate that states: "Do not enter. Owner is armed!"

The sign went up following a second looting attempt.

"We had at 11:30 at night -- before we did this -- someone shaking our gate and trying to get in and it was really scary. We had to call the police," Hewett recalled.

Hewett is trying to see the positive in standing guard.

She said neighbors who never met before are finally together.

"There are so many great stories, too, and it is wonderful that the neighborhood is coming together," she added.

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