River Valley Flood Victims Now Dealing With Thieves

RIVER VALLEY (KFSM) — Residents are dealing with the aftermath of the historic flood as waters recede, but now they are also having to deal with thieves breaking into their homes and taking all that was left.

"We already lost everything and now we have lost everything," homeowner Shannon Harris said.

Harris says they have been staying with family in Van Buren after their house got nearly a foot of water inside.

"It was an 8-inch water line, I took a measuring tape to it all the way through the house," Harris said. "And that`s in the highest level in the house. I lost a brand new washer and dryer that we had just purchased, first one ever owned. Everything in my storage room gone, my shed, lawnmower, weed eater we have lost everything."

Harris got a call from his next door neighbor who told him what had happened.

"They took a 70 inch TV, a play station four, a blue ray player, a smartwatch, and electronic box I had," Harris said. "I haven`t detailed everything since it`s a mess inside. I`m feeling violated"

The thieves tried to kick in the back door but failed, they then tried the bathroom window.

Fort Smith Police say they have seen several break-ins throughout the flooded areas but are working hard to prevent this from continuing to happen.

"Ever since the water started going down in fort smith we have changed our stance to a crime prevention," said We Milam with the Fort Smith Police Department. "We are increasing our patrol in the affected neighborhoods. We are ensuring that people who are coming in and out have a legitimate need to be there."

The Harris family says they have filed a police report and officers did come to the house to investigate.

Police say they will continue to monitor those neighborhoods 24 hours a day as long as necessary.

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