Central Texas tornado victims now also theft victims

(Photo by Chelsea Edwards)
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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) A Central Texas man and his wife whose home was hit by a tornado are victims again after burglars targeted their damaged house, determined to take what little they had left.

Repairs on Rodney Barnes’ home are coming along, but in June, the storm damage to his home appeared irreparable.

His is one of the three houses on Big Divide Road that was nearly destroyed by that tornado.

"The roof is gone, and the rain came in, and the inside of the house all caved in," said Barnes during an interview the day of the storm.

He and his wife relocated after the EF-2 tornado ripped through their home, but just days later, they found themselves victims again.

Thieves kicked in the doors to their garage and storage shed and got away with lawn equipment including a 700-pound mower, fishing gear and decades of collected tools.

"They were pretty picky,” says Barnes.

“They didn't steal anything that wasn't worth something."

Police estimate the burglars stole $15,000 worth of equipment.

The worst for Barnes, however, is the loss of mementos he planned to pass down to his grandson.

"Golf clubs I had for a number of years, and they were built especially for me," he says.

A pressure washer and a chainsaw taken in the burglary were discovered at a local pawnshop, identified by their serial numbers.

"I was surprised when they found them,” he said.

But he hopes more items turn up and help him recover from back-to-back disasters.

"It’s pretty disappointing when you've got people that are that low-life, that sorry, that they'll come in and steal from people who have just lost everything they owned," he says.

No one is in custody, but officers say they are looking for more information and more suspects.

List of stolen items still missing

Lawn mower
Weed Eater
Battery Charger
Air Compressor
Tackle Box
Golf Clubs
2 Tap & Die Sets
2-3 Drill Sets
3-4 Drill Chargers
Die Grinder
2 Dremel Tools
Die Thread Chaser
Saw Porter-Cable
7” Grinder
½ in. H.D. Mikita Drill
Wrench-tool kit
Paint Guns