Potential flood looters warned to expect harsh sentences

Don't fall victim to flood-releated scams

DENVER - If you are thinking about looting a home or property impacted by recent flooding in Colorado, you can expect a lengthy prison sentence for your crime, according to Colorado's Attorney General.

"While accounts of looting are minimal, and that is good news, my message to any would be looter is to expect a harsh penalty for committing such an abhorrent crime," said John Suthers in a prepared release. "In the case of the Waldo Canyon fire, one looter received a 48-year prison sentence and another was sentenced to 72 years," noted Suthers.

In addition, the Attorney General’s Office is reminding consumers that the recent state floods has the potential to bring out scam artists who exploit natural disasters to take advantage of people. Typically, the scams are on two fronts: charitable giving and home repairs.

"The floods will bring out the best in most, but unfortunately the worst in others," said Suthers. "After enduring this natural disaster, I am reminding Coloradans that scammers are out there and that consumer awareness is the most powerful tool we have to prevent victimization."

He said the best way to contribute to the flood-relief efforts is through HelpColoradoNow.org an initiative that brings together government agencies and non-profit organizations to assist communities affected by disasters.

To ensure that a charitable contribution is truly helping disaster victims, Coloradans should visit www.checkthecharity.com to ensure their donation is going to a legitimate organization registered with the state.

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