Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter

ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – Nearly 20 houses were damaged by straight line winds in Rockwall, some were destroyed and on Wednesday night many families were forced to stay elsewhere for the first time.

Rockwall Police said officers along with State Troopers are staying in the storm-damaged area to patrol for the next 36 hours.

As the homes sat mangled and boarded up, officer knew the potential for looters was possible.

“This is my daughter’s house. She’s fighting breast cancer. It’s just overwhelming,” said Becky Betancourt, who lives in Rockwall.

Betancourt is doing her best to watch over what is left of her daughter’s home in the Dalton Ranch subdivision.

“There’s stuff that’s still in there. You know? It’s been their home for 10 years. All their children’s memories are here,” said Betancourt.

Sgt. Jeff Welch with Rockwall Police said his team has the neighborhood covered.

“People will come over here and they will prey off these people and their misery and they will try to steal from them,” said Welch. “They’ll make up any kind of excuse. They’ll come in here as contractors. Pretend like they’re going to come in here roofing.”

Welch said the threat of possible thefts is why his officers, along with DPS, are on an “around the clock” patrol.
“We don’t want them losing any more,” said Welch.

Crews have restored power and gas for most of the homes deemed safe to live in, now police feel it is their turn to help the neighborhood rebuild with what is left.

“It’s just stuff, that can be replaced,” said Betancourt.

Rockwall Police said they will be checking IDs of anyone who enters to make sure they have a corresponding address.

They also said they aren’t allowing any contractors or clean-up crews inside the neighborhood for the moment.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Only CBS

Watch & Listen LIVE