Evacuees Resort To Stealing - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/23/05 - Nacogdoches

Evacuees Resort To Stealing

by Donna McCollum

Spending days on congested roads is bringing out the worst in some people. Tempers, theft and the breaking of traffic laws are all keeping law enforcement busy.

Lufkin police are calling a tense moment at the gas pumps outside Wal Mart Friday morning a 'near riot' situation. A large crowd became agitated when a gas delivery truck arrived. That truck had to leave to avoid a disturbance. The station was shut down and police escorted clerks away. No arrests were made.

Meanwhile in Nacogdoches County owners of a small gas and convenience store had a similar frightening experience. An uncontrollable crowd at the Gas Express on Hiway 59 south of Nacogdoches prompted owners to immediately call sheriff's deputies.

Several busses from the Beamont area stopped for a bathroom break and snacks. Before deputies arrived many of the customers wiped the shelves clean without paying for the items. The owner, Cecilia Taylor was frightened. "I've never had a situation like that where a large group just comes in and takes what they want."

Bus riders complained of a long, hot ride, no food, having to use the bathroom in the woods and scared that they wouldn't get to a safe place from the threats of Hurricane Rita.

Law authorities were busy with drivers fed up with slow moving traffic who began driving on the wrong side of highways. Patience is being tested.

Deputies have not made any arrests. Instead they concentrate on restoring order. But stress is at an all time high. Keeping order in check is getting more difficult. No one wants disruptions from getting totally out of hand.

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