Two women accused of looting North Dallas home damaged by tornado

Two women are accused of looting a North Dallas home that was ravaged by last month's tornado outbreak.

The tornadoes caused $2 billion in damage. The DA's Office wants to protect those impacted from even more devastation.

Police say they caught Toni Caldwell and Rhonda Harper leaving the home with household tools in their car.

The homeowner -- John McCormick -- spoke with FOX4 after the storms, coincidentally, about home security. He said he was able to move most of his belongings out of the home since it was nearly impossible to board up.

McCormick's North Dallas home was leveled in the October 20 EF-3 tornado. The damage done to his home is among the worst. Thankfully, he’s gotten the most important things out of the wreckage. He and his family survived unscathed.

“I got my wife and I got my twin daughters that were 2 months old at the time,” he said. “Ad I got my two English bulldogs.”

But McCormick is still finding it hard to believe that two women, seeing the contents of his home destroyed, would prey upon them.

“These people literally rode their car all the way up to where the garage started and unloaded anything they could get their hands on,” he said.

According to the arrest affidavits, Harper and Caldwell went through McCormick's property with flashlights last week and loaded up a Nissan with more than $1,100 worth of power tools and gardening gear. A neighbor saw them and called police.

McCormick was able to identify his things and got them back. The women are now charged with burglary of a habitation, and their punishments could be much stricter.

The Dallas County District Attorney announced Wednesday that he will seek enhanced penalties for anyone caught looting since the October tornado outbreak.

It's allowed under a new state law that says that anytime there is a disaster declaration, a burglary committed at a home inside that disaster area can have a much harsher punishment from five years up to life in prison. Normally, the punishment is two years in jail or less.

“They don't want them in the neighborhood looting anywhere,” McCormick said. “These are our homes.”

Police urge the public to call them right away if they see any looting.