High Park Fire: Victims to More Than Flames[CORRECTION/UPDATE]
As the community comes together to help displaced homeowners, firefighters and our animals, a new villain is disrobed.
Looters have found our neighbors. Just this past weekend a man was found with stolen government plates, pretending to be with the fire department and stealing from evacuated homes.
An article at ABC news says that 30 year old Denver man was arrested at a local bar after stealing from fire victims. Michael Stillman Maher, escaped capture for a while, but police found him having a drink nearby. Police were said to have found stolen property in his truck.
The Larimer County Sheriff's office is working hard to prevent these crimes.
"Residents worried about looting in the fire area should be reassured there is a very strong law enforcement and National Guard presence to deter any such activity," according to the statement.
Officials said they are beefing up roving patrols and deploying mobile surveillance equipment to catch looters in the act.
Maher is at the Larimer County Jail awaiting bail. He was arrested for obstruction fire/police, impersonating fire/police, theft and attempt to influence a public servant. The charges range from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 4 felony.
Previously I had referred to the man arrested as Michael Stillman, it is Michael Stillman Maher born September 24, 1981
The High Park Fire is now at 58,046 acres. The fire is at 45% containment and there is a red flag warning in affect until 9pm tonight. The cost of the fire to date has been estimated at 12.6 million dollars. For the latest updates on the fire see our latest up to the minute coverage.