POLICE HAVE arrested a 40-year-old on suspicion of theft after residents concerned about looting from flooded homes raised the alarm.
West Yorkshire Police officers responded to reports in the Mytholmroyd area about a man acting suspiciously near wrecked properties yesterday.
A force spokesman said the man, from the Dewsbury area, remained in custody and inquiries were ongoing.
It was not clear if anything had been taken from the houses.
A “handful” of people in white vans have been seen acting suspiciously in Calderdale lately, West Yorkshire Police has said, with reports of thieves stealing electrical goods from outside homes.
The arrest followed reports of several homes in York being broken into while they were still submerged in filthy water.
North Yorkshire Police Acting Superintendent Mark Grange said: “It is extremely disappointing to see victims of the floods being targeted in this way.
“It is impossible to comprehend why anyone would want to bring further suffering to those who are already in a very vulnerable situation.”
The Cycle Factory of Todmorden, a recently-opened Calderdale bike shop which was hit by the Boxing Day floods, reported having a number of bikes stolen.
The news came as it was revealed that repairs to a damaged bridge in Tadcaster are now a ‘national priority’.
Meanwhile, as flood levels subsided across the region, the North was braced for more heavy rain and high winds.
Later, police in York said there had been four burglaries and one attempted break-in at flood-affected homes in the Huntington Road area.
North Yorkshire Police said there were a further seven break-ins reported at chalets and caravans at a site in the city.
All incidents were currently under investigation.
Police and the Army were carrying out patrols to reassure residents who were asked to remain vigilant.
Mr Grange said: “We have seen the best of human nature over these past few days, and the now the worst.
“I would like to reiterate my message to those who choose to add further misery to residents who have already suffered, North Yorkshire Police is doing everything possible to bring you to justice and, make no mistake, you will face the full force of the law.
“I want to take this opportunity to remind residents to be vigilant and ensure property is as secure as it possibly can be, especially if they are not staying overnight.”