OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Commissioner John D. Doak said he supports proposed legislation to change looting from a misdemeanor to a felony. State Representatives Justin Wood, R-Shawnee; Mike Turner, R-Edmond; Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville; and Dan Fisher, R-El Reno; said they plan to introduce the bill during the next legislative session. The move comes after several dozens of arrests for looting after last month’s tornadoes.
“It’s hard to believe that anyone would try to steal from someone who’s already lost so much,” said Doak. “Looting is the definition of kicking a man when he’s down. We will not stand by and let thieves prey on our citizens. Looting is a cold crime that deserves a stiff penalty. This bill would make sure that justice is served. I commend Representatives Wood, Turner, Cleveland and Fisher for their leadership on this very important issue. Their bill has my full support.”
Commissioner Doak said the crackdown on looting goes right along with his efforts to fight insurance fraud.
“Whether it’s looting or fraud, we need to send a strong message to would-be criminals targeting tornado victims,” said Doak. “It won’t be tolerated. We will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Under current law, illegally taking items from a disaster area is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a $3,000 fine or both.