Crime

Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputies Arrested for Looting Tornado-Ravaged Home Depot

A North Dallas home devastated by the October tornado
A North Dallas home devastated by the October tornado Lucas Manfield
While the internet was worried about a cop who looked like he might have been taking a bottle of tequila from a liquor store in the aftermath of Dallas' October tornado — a story that turned out not to be true — two Dallas County Sheriff's Office deputies really were up to no good.

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A North Dallas home devastated by the October tornado
Lucas Manfield
Sgt. Rebecca Evans and Deputy Joseph Bobadilla were arrested Thursday afternoon and booked into Dallas County Jail, both on charges of theft by a law enforcement officer. According to the sheriff's department, Evans and Bobadilla ripped off the Forest Lane Home Depot, which was destroyed by a tornado Oct. 20.

After the tornado, Home Depot hired off-duty deputies, including Evans and Bobadilla, to guard the store's merchandise. 
Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Bobadilla
Dallas County Sheriff
Rather than watching out for the store, Bobadilla allegedly stole items from the store and got help from Evans removing and loading the pilfered goods. Bobadilla then returned them to another Home Depot, according to the sheriff, and then used the store credit he got in return to buy appliances and other merchandise.

Home Depot became aware of the thefts and told the sheriff's office.

Thursday, deputies searched Bobadilla's home in Garland. They found at least one plastic-wrapped washing machine, according to a tweet from KTVT reporter J.D. Miles. 
“The Dallas Sheriff’s Office does not condone or support employees that break the law," Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown said in a statement. "Our core values are integrity, professionalism and accountability and as a result, we will follow the proper procedures and guidelines in place to uphold the law and ensure the deputy is held responsible for his actions.”
Dallas County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Rebecca Evans
Dallas County Sheriff
Bobadilla and Evans are charged with theft of property worth more than $750 but less than $2,500, a Class A misdemeanor that could be upgraded to a felony because they are public servants. 
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young