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Weeks After Devastating Tornado, Police In Mullica Hill Increase Patrols To Deter Onlookers, Possible Thieves

MULLICA HILL, N.J. (CBS) -- As Mullica Hill residents continue to clean up from tornados that swept through two weeks ago, authorities are trying to prevent people from taking advantage of those most vulnerable.

The homes in the neighborhood are now boarded up and covered with tarp. As difficult as times are right now for those cleaning up these homes, authorities are keeping an eye out for those who might have criminal activity on their mind.

"In these situations, houses are wide open, no doors, people have valuable property. You always have to watch out for people with suspicious intentions," Harrison Township Police Chief Ronald Cundey said.

Although there have been no reports of theft in the area, the Harrison Township Police Department is also increasing patrol in the area to make sure residents know they aren't alone.

Police Chief Cundey told CBS3 the focus comes after an influx of people after the tornados, and those who were swarming the town didn't even live there.

"It's unfortunate everyone wants to come and see with these kind of events and they really hindered the recovery and cleanup operations," he said.

Cundey is asking those who don't live in Mullica Hill to keep their distance as residents continue to pick up the pieces.

"Have a little compassion for these folks and stay out of their way so they can get their lives back to normal as possible," he said.

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