Looters target residents’ homes in Santa Cruz County amid wildfire evacuations: Sheriff’s Office

California

Five people suspected of looting were arrested Friday in Santa Cruz County amid wildfire evacuations, officials said.

Jose Gandarilla, Susana Luna, Crystal Araujo, Sara Loretz and Crystle Parstch-Lucchesi were all arrested on suspicion of looting, grand theft, conspiracy to commit crime and burglary, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said.

There were reports of looters targeting residents who were forced to leave their homes due to the fires earlier Friday afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled neighborhoods Friday evening to observe and deter looters from the area.

The CZU Lightning Complex fires, affecting San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, have expanded to more than 55,000 acres and are 2% contained at last check.

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