HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - People who lost nearly everything in historic flooding in the Rosewood community said even more is being taken from them.
Sherri Gardner said she noticed people trying to take advantage of the situation right when cleanup started.
"The things we were salvaging we kept right by our front door. There were people that were actually walking up to the front door that were coming around on trucks asking if they could have things," she said. "It was really insensitive. It was hard. It was hard because that was all we had left. For someone to actually ask for what little bit we had left was tough."
Gardner said she then pulled up on someone putting her appliances, which were sitting by the curb for trash pickup, into a truck.
"'We don't want them sold or reused to someone who doesn't know they've been in sewage and doesn't know they're safe or sanitary,'" she said. "They said, 'We need the money. We need to sell them for scrap metal.'"
Horry County Police Lt. Raul Denis said the only area under the law that is protected is several feet out from around the walls of the house.
He said once something is placed along the street where trash would typically be, it's considered abandoned, so other people can legally take things from there.
For people to protect their belongings while they're cleaning up, they must keep them up near their house.
However, Gardner said she even had someone try taking her heating and air conditioning unit, which she had just replaced, from next to the house.
"Someone came right up to our front door where the old one was and started stripping the parts and loading it up on his truck," she said. "They came right up in the front yard and took it by the front door."
Larry Roberts said his refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher and a filing cabinet were all taken from the middle of his yard.
"I even wrote a note on them, 'Please do not take these. These are not trash,'" he said.
Roberts said he was hoping to sell the scrap metal from his own ruined appliances to put a new appliance back in his house.
A basketball hoop Roberts keeps along the street for the neighborhood children to use was also taken. He said it was functional and not trash from the flooding.
"It hurts a lot more now thinking about it when it's for the kids," he said. "Why would you take it? It's for the street."
Roberts has a no-cut basketball league called Confidence Hoops, which neighborhood children also play in.
He said he's hoping to get the basketball hoop replaced.
"You don't kick somebody when they're already down and the whole neighborhood is down," Melissa Krupa said.
Krupa said she had appliances taken that were sitting next to bushes against her house.
"The refrigerator I could've sold," she said. "Yes it was broken, but so many people told me I could fix it easily, so I could've sold that."
She said she confronted the man with her refrigerator still in his truck down the street and called police, but she said she was told they could only write a report.