VILONIA — The Vilonia Police Department arrested two Morrilton residents, Tuesday night, for looting in a neighborhood left in destruction by the tornado. 

“They were caught stealing copper wire and compressors from air conditioners in Parkwood Subdivision at about 7 p.m.,” said Vilonia Chief of Police Brad McNew.  
That is one of the hardest hit neighborhoods, McNew said, including the area of at least one fatality. 

Arrested at about 7 p.m. were James Steven Howard, 29, and Dustin Brooks Houston, 28. The address for both men is 634 Turkey Pond Loop in Morrilton. Both have been charged with four misdemeanors, theft of property, criminal trespassing and possession of an instrument of crime. Bail is set at $5,500. According to the arrest report neither Howard nor Houston is employed.

Both were allegedly caught in the act and started throwing the looted items out of a truck when they were approached by the arresting officer. The looted items in their possession was said to be valued at about $500. 

McNew has a message for anyone with similar intentions. 

“We are out watching. Not only the Vilonia Police Department but a number of other law enforcement agencies. Some are in marked cars—some are not. You will never know where we are at and what time we will be there. We are not going to let you steal from the victims.”

On that note, he credited several other agencies for their support. He said the Vilonia department is being assisted by about 14 other law enforcement agencies. He said he also met with law enforcement officials Tuesday from the Arkansas State Police, the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office and Mayflower Police Department and there is a consensus. 

“We are going to do what we have to do to stop this. We just aren’t going to tolerate it. Not in Vilonia and not in Mayflower,” he added.