Wadena Police make several arrests as they patrol disaster areas(WDAY TV) - It is a disturbing crime. A Minnesota woman is charged with forgery after police say she wrote checks from a checkbook she found after a tornado. Michelle Van Riper tried to pass a check from a man who died in the June 17th tornado. The Albert Lea woman faces 5-years in prison. Dozens of people are being arrested in Wadena as well.
Wadena Police have continued to patrol disaster areas with at-least 12-officers per night. With a higher saturation in enforcement comes more arrests. Wadena police tell us they have arrested 32-people since the Tornado struck the city on June 17th.
Most they arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and curfew violations. Wadena set a city wide curfew for 11-pm after the tornado hit. Only one of those arrested was a man posing as a FEMA agent trying to extort money from storm victims.
Right now, Wadena police say they have about 6-officers a night patrolling the streets and they say anyone going door to door looking for work must register with the city. The goal there is try to stop people trying to take advantage of storm victims.
“Some think it's a time to party like a hurricane party and so some on the weekends come out of the bars and there are bad things that happen, again we were able to keep a handle on that just because of the law enforcement presence.”
The city is just now starting to map out damaged areas and demolish homes. There was 40-different law enforcement agencies represented in the city after the storm. Wadena's police chief hopes after this weekend city operations will be back to normal.