British Columbia

Looting arrests made in wake of B.C. wildfire evacuations

Thousands have been told to leave their homes, and some say they're losing belongings left behind — but not because their houses burned.

Tracy Roy says her Williams Lake home was robbed after its evacuation

Tracy Roy said she and her husband discovered someone had "hacked away" at their belongings after they left their home under an evacuation order. (Simon Hergott)

More than 14,000 people in B.C. have been ordered to leave their homes as wildfires continue to rip through the Interior, Cariboo and northern regions.

As if that's not stressful enough, some residents have reported their houses being looted while they're away. 

On Tuesday, RCMP confirmed that at least 10 people have been arrested in connection with looting in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

More than 1,800 people were told to leave their Williams Lake homes over the weekend as wildfires burned near the nothern city. (Simon Hergott)

Tracy Roy lives in the northern city and said she was robbed after she fled this weekend.

She said she and her husband realized some of their belongings had gone missing when they returned to check on their house on Sunday. In all, Roy said, the couple is missing a TV, three shotguns, a jewellery box and food from the freezer.

"They broke into here ... it looks like they totally hacked away at it," she said.

"How can you do that to somebody who's already going through such stress and then come when they're most vulnerable and take their stuff? We're going through enough."​

Tracy Roy says she and her husband returned to check on their Williams Lake home after being evacuated, only to find that some of their belongings had been stolen while they were away. (CBC)

Sherrie Dickinson was told to leave her home in 150 Mile House on Friday. She had minutes to grab her daughter's baby book, bits of important paperwork and some clothes before heading to stay with family in Williams Lake.

She said she woke up at her mom's house on Saturday to find her white SUV missing from the driveway.

"All of that stuff [I packed] was taken with the vehicle," she said. "I was devastated. Absolutely heartbroken. Those are memories [in the baby book] I'll never get back."

Sherrie Dickinson said her white truck, pictured here, was found on Saturday. (Kimberley Paul/Facebook)

Dickinson said Mounties found her vehicle on Saturday night with her belongings still inside.

"We're just so grateful," she said. 

"But it is heartbreaking. People are thinking they're losing their stuff and their homes and, on top of that, they're being robbed. It's awful that people are taking advantage of people who've had to leave their homes."​

RCMP said most of the people arrested in relation to looting were known to police. Sgt. Annie Linteau said the force is now patrolling evacuation areas 24/7.

With files from Natasha Frakes