On Thursday, April 23, 2020, detectives with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office went before the Hamilton County Magistrate and swore to facts surrounding the hoarding of tornado relief items by Steven Howard West, age 64, and Kimberly Gail West, age 49, who are managers of the Auburn Hills Trailer Park.
The Hamilton County Magistrate issued warrants for the arrest of both individuals charging each of them with Theft over $60,000 and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Theft over $60,000.
At approximately, 5:30 pm, Hamilton County Sheriff Deputies executed the warrants arresting Steven and Kimberly West at their residence.
“During these traumatic events which have affected so many in our community, the HCSO wants to assure the public we take all allegations of victimization extremely serious,” said Chief Deputy Austin Garrett. “We encourage members of the community to report any instances of victimization. Our personnel continue to serve those in the affected areas and we will remain in the weeks to come with dedicated personnel to provide any support necessary to ensure the safety and security of those affected.”
On Wednesday, sheriff’s officers followed up on a complaint filed by residents of Auburn Hills Trailer Park focusing on allegations that the park’s management hoarded disaster relief packages, denying resident of items intended for them.
HCSO detectives spoke with Auburn Hills Trailer Park management, and the management agreed to have the relief items removed and placed in the custody of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives took custody of the items and delivered them to a storage location. The types of relief items are as follows: bottled water, food, sanitizers, diapers, grills, toilet paper, paper towels, one generator, rakes/shovels and other similar items.
Early Thursday evening, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputies, along with Tennessee State Troopers and Hamilton County Maintenance personnel, delivered tornado relief items to tenants of the trailer park.
The relief items filled a large box truck, along with the bed of a dump truck. The relief items included sanitary supplies, hygiene supplies, diapers, food, water, a generator, Red Cross packages and other assorted necessities.
Tenants of the trailer park quickly claimed items of need with the assistance of community leaders and within approximately an hour and a half all the contents of both trucks were emptied.
Some trailer park tenants are still without electricity; however, the roads are now passable.