Hurricane Irma aftermath: Scavengers targeting storm-damaged items in Clay County

by: Russell Colburn, Action News Jax Updated:

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. - A Clay County family said their Hurricane Irma-damaged appliances -- yet to be assessed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- are being stolen from their driveway.

River Reach Road in Fleming Island dealt with flooding during Irma.

Chad Eason said the storm sent a foot of water into his home.

Eason and his family gutted their home, piling their furniture in the driveway.

They say they’re still waiting for an inspection by FEMA for their reimbursement.

Eason said while they weren't home, someone stole a couple dressers, a refrigerator and more. He assumes the person or people responsible will repair and re-sell the stolen items.

“We wouldn't mind someone coming and asking, but coming 40 feet off the road and onto our property and taking items that are not cleared by us, certainly that doesn't feel good,” Eason said. “It feels a little bit [invasive.]”

Jacksonville attorney Chis Carson said this could be considered theft since the belongings weren't abandoned as trash on the side of the road.

“It [could] become a burglary charge if they, in fact, were trespassing and then stealing,” Carson said.

Eason said he does not intend to pursue legal charges. 

Prior to the theft, Eason said he took pictures of his furniture so he believes he'll still be covered.

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