Despite mandatory evacuations, some are braving wildfires to defend their deserted California neighborhoods from the possibility of looters.
Point Dume community resident Sam Bassett told KTLA he had heard reports that looters were coming into the area dressed as first responders and stealing things, which sparked him to grab his rifle and a dust mask to help filter the lingering smoke to do what he could.
“I really wasn’t going to take any chances with this community, I figured it had lost enough already,” he said.
Malibu resident Dave Mizrahi told CBS Los Angeles he had stuff stolen right out of his driveway as police have arrested a number of looters.
Bassett wasn’t the only one to stick around as the Woolsey Fire burned through Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Off-road truck racer Carey Hart posted his feelings on looters, the Second Amendment and private property on Instagram by posting an image purporting to be of armed locals in the Malibu area in front of a hand-lettered sign that reads “Looters will be shot on site (sic).”
“It’s unfortunate that some people take advantage of others in a crisis,” said Hart, 43. “While the Malibu fires have been burning, some locals have been fighting off and defending their property against the fires. There have been sightings of looters breaking into homes. Well, if you are a looter, think twice if you are heading back into Malibu. #DefendYourLand #2ndamendment”