Two arrested for allegedly looting during Clayton fire in Lake County
Two Sonoma men were arrested for looting bulldozers used for firefighting and another 22 arrested while roaming emergency evacuation zones as the Clayton fire scorched southern Lake County last week, police said.
The two looted Forest Service bulldozers were parked at the Eastlake Landfill outside of Clearlake, according to Clearlake police.
Numerous items including lights, an emergency fire shelter, a chainsaw, tools and a handheld GPS device were reported stolen from the bulldozers, police said. U.S. Forest Service firefighters reported seeing a late 1990s white Chevrolet dual-wheeled truck leaving the location as they arrived at the landfill. A few hours later, Clearlake police observed a vehicle matching the description and made a traffic stop. Items stolen from the bulldozers were in plain sight, police said.
The occupants, Larry Hunter, 52, and Paul Albini, 47, both of Sonoma, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of methamphetamine.
The other 22 people - apprehended during the mandatory evacuation in Clearlake - were arrested on a variety of charges including driving on a suspended license, possession of narcotics, evading arrest and being in a closed disaster area.