WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls Police arrested three people for reportedly looting from a storm-damaged shopping complex.

According to the arrest affidavits, on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, an officer was checking a shopping center on Seymour Highway after it was damaged by recent storms and receiving several calls about people stealing from the damaged shopping complex.

Wichita County Jail booking photos

While checking the storm-damaged building, the officer noticed several pieces of copper wire next to the building that appeared to have been cut for ease of handling. The officer did not find anyone in the building and cleared the scene.

A few minutes later, the officer drove back by and saw a man walking from the building. As the officer passed by, the man quickly entered his pickup and tried to leave. As he was leaving, the truck got hung on a piece of debris. A large amount of copper wire was found in the bed of the truck, wire the officer said was next to the building earlier.

Three people, Dakota Smith, Christopher Neal, and Thomas Latham were detained. Smith told the officer they were working on the property, removing copper wire to clean it up. A representative from the building said the three men did not have permission to be in the building and valued the cut copper wire at $1,000.

All three were arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Their bonds were set at $5,000 each.

Sgt. Charlie Eipper with the WFPD said that officers have increased patrols in the area since so many buildings were damaged.