Looter gets 20 years for stealing cigarettes and TVs during Hurricane Harvey

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Harvey looter gets 20 years for stealing cigarettes and TVs
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Thomas Gamelin, 38, was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for burglarizing a Walmart store on Silber Road during Hurricane Harvey.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man convicted of looting from a Walmart store during Hurricane Harvey will spend the next 20 years of his life in prison.

A judge sentenced Thomas Gamelin on Wednesday after being found guilty following a two-day trial.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office said Gamelin was caught stealing televisions and cigarettes from a store on Silber Road during the height of the storm.

Gamelin was on parole for a drug conviction when he took more than $5,000 worth of loot.

Police said Gamelin used a Ford van to smash open the cart doorway. He then climbed through the hole and removed a television and tobacco products from the store.

"Our city was in the midst of the worst natural disaster in its history, and the defendant saw that as the perfect opportunity to take advantage and try to make a profit," Assistant District Attorney Joshua Raygor said. "While so many people were coming together to help others, Thomas Gamelin was off on his own looting."