NEWALLA — Two men arrested after they admitted taking scrap metal and copper from the Newalla disaster area are free on bail, Cleveland County sheriff's spokeswoman Meghan McCormick said Friday.
Jonathan Robert Muise, 21, and Johnny Carl Harris, 49, were arrested Wednesday after a witness reported seeing two men digging through debris piles in the Woodlands addition, which was damaged in the May 19 tornado.
The witness said the men were pulling out copper wire and salvageable items and were driving a silver Chevrolet pickup, according to a sheriff's department news release.
A deputy stopped a pickup hauling scrap metal in the 17000 block of E Indian Hills Road and questioned Muise, who was driving, and Harris. The men admitted to taking copper and scrap metal from the disaster area, according to the release.
The men were arrested for disturbing a disaster area and booked into the Cleveland County jail.
Sheriff Joe Lester said stealing from tornado victims won't be tolerated in Cleveland County.
“Anybody caught taking items that don't belong to them from neighborhoods that were ravaged in the May tornadoes will be arrested and jailed,” Lester said in the news release.