Looting during Christmas? Five people arrested for stealing from evacuees impacted by California wildfires

Natural disasters tend to bring out the best in some people … and the worst in others.

Five people were arrested for the alleged burglary of vehicles belonging to residents who stayed in Oxnard to escape California’s raging Thomas Fire.

Oxnard Police Department reported:

“Sometime during the night of 12/05/17, as the Thomas fire was ravaging Ventura County, a burglary occurred to two black Suburbans parked in the 3700 block of Dunkirk Drive.  The owners of the vehicles had recently evacuated their residence and placed a large number of their personal belongings in their Suburbans. The evacuated family drove to the address on Dunkirk to spend the night with friends, when the burglary occurred. “

About $75,000 worth of property was taken on the night of Dec. 5, KTLA reports. The stolen goods included jewelry, electronics, clothing, a guitar, personal papers, and credit cards.

Police were led to the suspects by a $10,000 charge on a credit card.

Officers responded to a disturbance call at the Channel Islands Inn five days later, where they found and arrested three suspects.

Jasmine Zavala, 29, was arrested for possession of stolen property and child endangerment. Maryann Zuniga, 29, and Juan Carillo, 44, were also taken into custody for possessing stolen property.

David Rosales, 28, was arrested on Dec. 18 for unrelated charges, but was discovered to have property belonging to the burglary victims.

Investigators served a search warrant at Rosales’ residence, where they found more of the stolen goods.

(Top, left to right) Lisette Topete, Juan Carrillo, Maryann Zuniga, (bottom left to right) David Rosales and Jasmine Zavala. (Photos: Oxnard Police Department).

Lisette Topete, 28, was arrested for possession of stolen property and drug-related charges.

The wildfire victims asked for the police’s help in finding the remaining stolen property.

Twitter users noted the moral bankruptcy of people who would steal from afflicted evacuees.


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