Four arrested for looting home gutted by fire

(WMC-TV) – Four men are in jail charged with looting a Memphis home that was gutted by fire.

The looting came just days after vandals targeted the home, marking it with possible gang symbols.

Melvin Robinson is shocked by the activities taking place on West Person Avenue over the last month.

"This whole neighborhood was pretty much quiet until this happened," said Robinson.

Tuesday, Memphis police arrested Chimica Blocker, Johnnie Jackson, and Linda Simmons on looting charges. Shead Houston is charged as being the getaway driver.

Police say the trio boldly entered the fire ravaged home and loaded copper pipes, sections of an iron wrought fence, and other scrap metal onto a flatbed trailer.

"These people that came here and were taking everything out, we thought they worked with the guy that owns the place," said Robinson.

It is the symbols spray painted in red on the side of the home that has neighbors really concerned.

"I don't know what they mean. Somebody said something about a GD. I don't know what GD is," Robinson explained.

GD stands for Gangster Disciples.

Robinson said the man house sitting the home told him he was threatened after a drug deal gone bad.

"Three weeks ago, police n----- was sprayed on there. The second week after that, the symbols showed up," Robinson described.

The symbols appear to be two pitchforks on either side of a Star of David with a six in the middle of the star.

Some gang experts say those are gang symbols, but it cannot be determined if the markings are authentic.

Memphis police say it is unclear if the fire was gang-related.

The fire department deemed the fire an accident from faulty electrical kitchen equipment. But that isn't bringing neighbors any peace.

"Everyone is pretty much either staying awake or looking out for each other. Because we don't know what these guys do, I don't know who they are and I don't know what they're capable of," said Robinson.

All four looting suspects are due in court tomorrow.

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