Two suspects arrested for looting fire station during Camp Fire

DePalma And Erlbacher
Robert DePalma, 59, left, and William Erlbacher, 39,  right, of Concow, CA. CAL FIRE photo.

CAL FIRE reported that two suspects have been arrested for the burglary and looting of a CAL FIRE station during the Camp Fire on November 8.

Robert DePalma and William Erlbacher, both of Concow, California, were arrested on five felony counts including vehicle theft, looting during an emergency, and possession of stolen property.

Their bail is set at $250,000 each.

The fire has killed at least 81 people and destroyed over 13,700 residences in Paradise and other nearby communities in California. About 870 people are still unaccounted for.


Our Opinion:

Looting an evacuated area that has been devastated by a natural disaster is one of the most disgusting, abhorrent, and sleazy crimes there is. But doing it at a facility where public employees are out helping citizens and putting their lives on the line takes it to a repugnant new level. If DePalma and Erlbacher are found guilty they deserve the the most severe sentence allowed under the law.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

6 thoughts on “Two suspects arrested for looting fire station during Camp Fire”

  1. I find it very biased that you rush to judgement that these 2 men were out looting. You never give light to the CDC fact that this may have been about survival. I know what had occurred with respects to Depalma and his near death escape, his 7.2 mile journey to get to this fire station and t he e fact that only a truck, a one icecream and a wallet was removed. I think if it was in fact a burglary that more significant items would have been taken. Just saying…..your opinion is pretty strong and doesn’t really shed light on the entire story.

    1. Dont you think more would be missing if this were a burglary? Forest fires growing at the rate of 8 football fields per minute? I say it was survival.

    2. Aren’t you a Christian and do you believe in due process of the law? This story will grow and as it does there will be a growing body of Americans who will undoubtedly realize how unjust and wrong their word really were. I’m 100% confident the man on the left is a man of honor and integrity. Dont know anything about the fella on the right. But I feel that based on posts & accounts that I heard this was a story of survival and not some crazy tweaker thieves looting spree that’s been painted on site after site because of an I’ll written press release by Cal-Fire.

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