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Volunteer Crooks

More than 2,500 volunteers have already registered in Enterprise to help with recovery efforts.

Ninety nine percent of those are honest people trying to lend a helping hand, but police now have reports that some volunteers are charging for their services.

Enterprise police have been waiting for people to show up in their city to try and turn a profit from the disaster. Now, less than two weeks since the tornado, the first reports of residents being swindled out of hundreds of dollars are coming in.

"It's been reported that some volunteers are taking advantage of seniors and charging them 300 dollars and that behavior is unforgivable," said Mark Johnston, a member of the Lutheran Disaster Response.

The biggest challenge for police is that the people taking advantage of these residents are actually registered as volunteers. That means they are wearing an official wrist band, so resident are more likely to trust them when they ask for payment. Police say they will not tolerate this behavior and are working to make arrests.

"We want to protect the public and know that we will prosecute anyone taking advantage of our citizens," said T.D. Jones, Enterprise Chief of Police.

Police say at this stage of recovery no one should be paying for the removal of debris or any other clean-up type job because so many volunteers are standing by to help.

"We want the public to be aware that the blue tarps are free and volunteers will do it free of charge."

Police say if you need to hire someone to clean up your property from storm damage, you should check with the town hall first and make sure the business is licensed

If you know of someone taking advantage of a resident affected by the disaster, Enterprise police ask that you please call and report them at 347-2222.


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