Pass Christian Police Fight Post-Hurricane Looting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pass Christian Police Fight Post-Hurricane Looting

It's been a stressful five months for Pass Christian police officers. They patrol a town that's covered in debris.

Normally, Pass Christian police concentrate on traffic issues. But these aren't normal times, so their focus has turned to looting.

"Somebody went into my yard and stole my motor hoist out of my yard," a Pass Christian told officer Kurt Langenbacher.

The two year patrolman has heard that complaint a lot lately.

"To some people it looks like candy in a candy store," he said.

Looting Pass Christian's hurricane damaged homes has become the most investigated crime since Katrina. Just ask investigator James Stewart.

"They're going in the house, taking things that don't belong to them," he said.

Stewart is a 20 year veteran with the Pass Christian P.D. After the hurricane, he became the department's only investigator.

"It's been five long months. It's hard to describe it," he said.

Right after Katrina tore through Pass Christian, one officer turned in his badge for a paint brush. The other 18 stuck around to protect what's left of the city. Langenbacher was one of two officers on patrol Monday afternoon. He compared his drive around town to the scene he saw a few days after Katrina.

"Immediately afterward it seemed like I didn't have a city to work for. And now, we're seeing it come back," he said.

Langenbacher never considered leaving his hurricane ravaged department.

"This is what I love to do. Even though it's hard sometimes, it's also good sometimes," he said.

And it will get even better once Pass Christian removes its last debris pile -- what Investigator Stewart referred to as "A total mess. But you know what? Like I say, I know we are survivors here," Stewart said.

"We will come back. It's just going to take time. But we will come back."

by Brad Kessie

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