Flood victims targeted by burglars

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Water creeping up the side of their home was the view Eric and Carol DiSanto had as they evacuated their Sherwood Forest neighborhood last August. They didn't know it at the time, but two feet of flood water would be just the start of their troubles.

"It's been a pretty bad year. The 2016 flood is the gift that keeps on giving," said Eric DiSanto.

During clean up, thieves broke into the flooded home and stole scraps and equipment.  When the family could finally hire a contractor, there was another blow.

"We thought we were hiring somebody good who was going to give us what we wanted," said Eric. "We're realizing he basically wanted to take us for an entire insurance policy and give us work that cost half of what he was billing."

The couple and their teenage daughter moved back home in May to find their floors uneven and poorly laid, countertops crooked, tiles broken, and showers leaking. When they asked the contractor make repairs, they say he disappeared.

"We haven't heard from him now for two months," said DiSanto.

After formal requests for repairs and letters went unanswered, the DiSantos are considering taking their case to the Attorney General.

Then came another hit.

"We come home last night to find our house has been burglarized again," said DiSanto. "Tore apart our bedroom. Everything was thrown all over the place."

Thieves came in through a window and ransacked their home in the middle of the afternoon, taking TVs, jewelry, and a safe that held baby pictures and personal documents.

"I never worried about it. Now I'm afraid to leave the house," said DiSanto.

Unfortunately, flood victims becoming targets seems to be common story. Police records show there have been 16 home burglaries in the DiSanto's neighborhood reported to police since January. At least one house was hit three times.

Now, the couple wonders if they'll ever be at home again.

"Before the flood it was our home. This was our safe spot. This was where our family started. Every time we try to put it back to make it our home, the steps we take forward are too small and the steps back are too big," said Carol.

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