Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Liz Miller
Observer Staff Writer 

3 Arrested for Looting in Blue Cut Fire Evacuation Area

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department continues enhanced patrolling

 

August 23, 2016

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept.

Daniel Mervine of Jurupa (left), Natasha Rovinsky of Diamond Bar (center) and Trevor Sanchez of Riverside (right) were arrested for trying to loot an evacuated San Bernardino home.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies arrested three people Thursday for allegedly trying to steal property, including a flatbed truck, from an evacuated home in the Blue Cut Fire area.

Deputies were called out about 7 a.m. when the suspects were spotted at a home in the 8600 block of Swarthout Canyon, an unincorporated area of San Bernardino, after someone noted suspicious and unfamiliar people at an evacuated home.

The suspects were attempting to leave the home in the flatbed truck. When stopped, they claimed they were picking up property for a friend who lives there. Deputies were able to contact the homeowner, who said he did not authorize anyone to take his vehicle.

Daniel Mervine, 27, of Jurupa; Natasha Rovinsky, 27, of Diamond Bar; and Trevor Sanchez, 29, of Riverside were found to have additional items in their possession that had been taken from the property.

They were taken into custody without incident and booked for looting and grand theft.

Sheriff John McMahon reported on Wednesday that officials had increased patrols and were on the lookout for potential looters, noting that it doesn't get "much lower" than trying to take advantage of people who

Officials ask anyone with information on the suspects to call Sheriff's Central Station at 909-387-3545. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or leave information at http://www.wetip.com.

The sheriff's department had not received any additional reports of looting in the fire area as of Thursday afternoon.

The fast-moving Blue Cut fire caused 84,000 people to grab their kids and pets and flee as quickly as possible after it broke out on Tuesday, August 16. Two elementary schools were evacuated entire, without parents having time to retrieve their children. 34,000 homes were evacuated.

Fed by dry grassland and pushed by a moderate wind, the blaze grew to nearly 30,000 acres in less than 24 hours. Broken canyon country with scatted individual homes and small communities make for some of the most difficult kinds of firefighting terrain.

Thanks to the tireless and well-coordinated work of multiple fire-fighting organizations, as of Friday evening, some evacuations had been lifted with the fire 40% contained.

At least 96 private homes and 213 outbuildings had been been destroyed by the blaze.

EVACUATION CENTERS:

Jessie Turner Community Center

15556 Summit Avenue

Fontana, CA

San Bernardino County Fairgrounds

14800 7th Street

Victorville, CA 92395

ANIMAL EVACUATION SHELTERS:

Apple Valley Animal Shelter (small animals only)

22131 Powhatan Road

Apple Valley, CA 92308

San Bernardino County Fairgrounds (large animals)

14800 7th Street

KTLA

Blue Cut fire drop.

Victorville, CA 92395

Devore Animal Shelter (large and small animals)

19777 Shelter Valley

San Bernardino, CA

(800)472-5609 or (909)386-9820

DISASTER RELIEF FUND ESTABLISHED BY INLAND EMPIRE UNITED WAY

• For residents impacted by the Blue Cut fire

• Donate at: http://www.IEUW.org/help or Text: RELIEF to 40403

 

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