A Hurricane Harvey flood victim says contractors who were supposed to restore his home tried to burglarize him (video below).
Police arrested two men from Michigan, Brandon Bonesteel and Richard Edwards, on Sept. 5, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The men, who were hired by SERVPRO, were being paid to help Jordan Blair, a Houston flood victim, rebuild after the storm.
Instead, Blair caught them on camera trying to steal his things, KTRK reports.
"Like what a double blow to someone's life right now," said Blair. "You just can't trust everybody."
Bonesteel and Edwards now face burglary charges and each currently is held on bail of $40,000, although that could increase to $75,000.
They may face harsher punishments than usual because Texas authorities have promised stricter penalties for those stealing from Hurricane Harvey victims.
Court records reveal both men have previous criminal charges in Michigan, which SERVPRO may have been aware of.
SERVPRO corporate communications specialist Kim Brooks says the company performed background checks on both men before hiring them.
"We are very troubled by the allegation involving the employees of a SERVPRO Franchise operator," added Brooks. "We in no way condone these actions, which run contrary to SERVPRO's values and culture. It is our understanding the franchise operator has terminated the employment of these individuals. We will continue to investigate and follow the situation and take any other action deemed necessary or appropriate to help ensure this will not occur again in the future. The SERVPRO franchise system looks forward to continuing to assist the residents of the State of Texas in their time of need."
News of the alleged attempted burglary has outraged many.
"Those two thieves should get the maximum allowed under Texas law," wrote one person on Mad News World's Facebook post about the crime. "If it Five years or Ten years. They are bad people who may return to theft or worse crimes after release. Why should they even be free to walk the streets after breaching the guidelines of SERVEPRO and non having a code of honor themselves."
Others expressed anger at the company.
"Pull the Franchise!!!!" commented another. "It's clear the owner doesn't do a background check. this isn't the first time these two have done this, i'd bet."
"These storm chasing companies make millions upon millions of dollars they don't care who they hire!" commented a third. ."Great opportunities for thief's and lowlife scum I've seen thier operations. Fist the salesman well that speaks for itself then 5 or 6 guys that might know what thier doing and the rest is whoever else they can get to show up to work morals or integrity is not required!"
Sources: KTRK, Houston Chronicle, Mad World News/Facebook / Featured Image: SC National Guard/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Image: U.S. Army/1st Lt. Zachary West/Wikimedia Commons, NOAA/Wikimedia Commons