RIDGECREST (CBSLA) — A Ridgecrest store owner is “shocked” his business was looted as the city continues clean-up efforts following a series of violent earthquakes in the area this week.
Thursday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake broke bottles all over Abdul Odeh’s store. Friday’s 7.1 magnitude quake caused even more damage. Then, there are the hundreds of aftershocks that have followed. But Odeh says he was more shocked that someone would take advantage of a community recovering from disaster.
He says shortly after he closed Friday night someone cut the power and broke in, stealing the cash register and hundreds of lottery scratchers.
“It’s shocking,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re in a small town like this to have the people take advantage of each other. That was hurtful for us … the way they would take advantage of the community as a whole.”
Odeh estimates his business lost $20,000 due to the earthquakes. He does not have earthquake insurance but says his policy is expected to cover the burglary.
California Governor Gavin Newsom meanwhile spent the day speaking to first response teams, local city leaders and members of the community in the Ridgecrest area.
“We can’t be complacent,” he told reporters, vowing California would provide ongoing assistance.
A Red Cross cooling and evacuation center for victims in the Ridgecrest area is available at 100 W. California Ave., Ridgecrest, CA 93555.
Victims may also contact the following agencies for emergency and non-emergency assistance:
Structure Residence Building Damage
Southern California Edison
Non-Emergency Police or Missing Persons