Wine Country fires: Suspected looter arrested in Sonoma


SONOMA — Authorities on Thursday arrested a man they say looted a pair of sunglasses from a car in an evacuation zone and also was found with an emergency shelter apparently taken from a firefighter who was in the area to help battle blazes that have killed 31 people, destroyed 3,500 structures and burned 191,000 acres since Sunday.

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In a Facebook post, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said deputies and other law enforcement officers responded to simultaneous calls of a theft from a car and a fight at a park in the city of Sonoma.

At the park, authorities detained Morgan Plumere, a resident of the city. Neighbors told them Plumere had taken a pair of sunglasses from a car in an evacuation zone. One neighbor called authorities while another followed Plumere to the park and confronted him.

A probation search of Plumere and his belongings turned up the sunglasses, as well as tools that had been previously reported stolen from a vineyard management company, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Plumere also was found with an emergency fire shelter apparently taken from a firefighter who was in the area to help battle the blazes. The devices serve as a last resort for firefighters overtaken by flames.

Deputies arrested Plumere on suspicion of looting, possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of prescription medication without a prescription and a probation violation.

At a press briefing Thursday evening, Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said looting hasn’t been a major problem. Two others were arrested Wednesday night, he said.

“We’ve had a few calls here and there of people in areas you’re not supposed to be in and a few that we suspect were doing things they weren’t supposed to do,” Giordano said. “But for the most part, it has not been a problem for us. It’s been very controlled.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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