Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for looting during Hurricane Harvey

HOUSTON (WSVN) — A judge has sentenced a man convicted of looting during Hurricane Harvey to 20 years in prison.

Thomas Gamelin, 38, stole $5,200 in televisions and cigarettes from a Houston-area Walmart that was closed during the 2017 hurricane.

“Our city was in the midst of the worst natural disaster in its history, and the defendant saw that as the perfect opportunity to take advantage and try to make a profit,” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Raygor said. “While so many people were coming together to help others, Thomas Gamelin was off on his own looting.”

Police spotted a Ford van parked outside of the store, which appeared to have been used to smash open a cart doorway.

That’s when an officer saw Gamelin carrying a television out of the store. Surveillance video also captured him stealing from inside the building.

Gamelin was on parole for a drug conviction at the time of the crime, the district attorney’s office said.

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