Harvey looter caught at closed Walmart gets 20-year sentence
HOUSTON (AP) — A 38-year-old Houston man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for looting a Walmart store closed during Hurricane Harvey last year.
Thomas Gamelin already was on parole last August for a drug conviction when police driving by the store saw a van that appeared to have been used to smash open a door at the Walmart and then saw Gamelin carrying a television. Surveillance video also showed him taking other electronics and tobacco products from the closed store.
A jury Wednesday convicted him of burglary and State District Judge Brad Hart sentenced him to 20 years.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Joshua Raygor says Gamelin saw the worst natural disaster in Houston’s history as “the perfect opportunity to take advantage and try to make a profit.”