Thieves in tornado-damaged areas will be subject to felony prosecution for stealing anything over $100 in value.
20th Judicial District Prosecutor Cody Hiland said he wanted to get the message out after two men were arrested for allegedly stealing copper wire from the debris at Vilonia.
Arkansas law was amended in 2009 to make theft of over $100, which would normally be a misdemeanor, a class-D felony offense when "the theft occurred in an area declared to be under a state of emergency." Theft of any generator being used by hospitals or other public agencies, or of electric lines is also a class-D felony under the amendment, and carries a mandatory fine of $5,000 to $50,000.
(Staff writer Joe Lamb, can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1277.)