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Looting a problem in tornado-damaged Berkeley

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon gets a tour of a damaged neighborhood by Berkeley, Mo. Mayor Kyra Watson in St. Louis on April 23, 2011. A tornado hit the region on April 22 damaging or destroying over 750 homes and buildings.

Nearly two months after a tornado damaged hundreds of homes in north St. Louis County, some victims are facing a new trauma caused by looters.

KSDK-TV reports that residents and police in Berkeley say it is a crime of opportunity, with criminals stealing from people trying to rebuild after the April 22 twister.

Resident Tonya Brown says two break-ins this week are keeping her family from returning home, as thieves have stolen pipes in the house.

Street lights are still out in parts of Berkeley, making it easier for burglars.

Police Chief Frank McCall Jr. says patrols are being increased in tornado-damaged neighborhoods.

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