Houston Crime Wave?


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The_Shootist
December 17, 2005, 06:17 PM
Any other Texas residents here seem to think we are in the midst of a crime wave? 14 murders (most of them gang/drug related) over Thanksgiving - then the uncle of one of my employees was killed in a holdup robbery just the other day.

I talk to clerks in convenience stores that tell me Galveston is not much better with bodies turning up frequently in some desolate areas, again much of it drug related.

In Houston, we had about 260 murders all year in 2004 - 2005 isn't even over and we are at 295 (maybe more now).

I think I'll say the politically incorrect statement - namely that with the evacuation over the summer of New Orleans, LOTS oif bad guys chose Houston as their new residence. The local officials keep sayiing there hasn't been an uptick in the crime wave, but the figures sure aren't backing them up.

New Orleans was the most dangerous violent city in North America (per capita - I suppose numerically Chicago, DC and Baltimore were worse on a raw numbers basis). I just have a sinking feelings all the 'banger's didn't head to Atlanta this summer.

It sure prompts more self-awareness - I'm armed 24/7 and when I can, carry my 1911 with 2 backup mags.

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El Tejon
December 17, 2005, 06:32 PM
Has not Houston always been violent?

As well, is not Houston now the 4th largest city? More people=more crime.

orionengnr
December 17, 2005, 06:43 PM
a large number of Katrina "victims".

As you stated, NO was a violent and corrupt city. Now Katrina's greatest legacy will be the corruption and violence it has helped NO to export to other US cities (who belatedly understand the old saying about no good deed going unpunished....) :cuss:

SteveJr
December 17, 2005, 08:42 PM
Am I jumping from the pan to the fire? Yes, I am relocating to Houston in March '06...after reading this thread I dont think I will be too homesick!! :D BTW, nice to be here and looking foward to reading and sharing ideas & opinions with all of you.

SteveJr

hank327
December 17, 2005, 09:08 PM
Houston has always been a tough town. The recent arrival of several tens of thousands of dispossed and unemployed people won't make it a kinder and gentler town. Especially when a lot of the new arrivals were involved in rather shady dealings back in New Orleans. These folks will come into conflict with the local Houston thugs and fireworks will (or are?) happen.

Dallas took in twenty or thirty thousand New Orlean's refugees and there has been an upswing in violence here since late summer. Perhaps it's just a coincidence. :rolleyes:

jsalcedo
December 17, 2005, 09:36 PM
When travelling, I time my trip so that Houston arrives at 3AM. That way I can get through that town like salmonella riding an Ex-Lax wave.

PWK
December 17, 2005, 11:57 PM
There was a big gang related fight at Westbury HS in Houston's southwest side that involved Houston gangs vs NO gangs. It put 20 or so kids in the hospital.
A lot of the violence occuring that is obviously related to these "victims" is not reported in the Houston Chronicle since it was there favorate liberal Bill White who invited so many here and promised to put them up for a year for free, all bills paid. He expected FEMA to pay for it. At first FEMA said no but then I think they gave in too. You pretty much have to tune to the local conservative talk radio to get the real news, which is where we heard about the gang fight at Westbury HS.
Personally, it just amazes me that any sane parent would put there kids in any of the public schools within Houston. First with all the illegals then with all the Katrina refugees.

Malice
December 18, 2005, 01:53 AM
I work for a school district near Houston Independent school district. We all heard about that fight (involved shots fired, kids wounded) but it on NO news that I am aware of. Very, very strange.

It is not just HISD schools. In the district I work for we have 1/3 rich kid schools where the only trouble comes from spoiled kids snorting too much coke in the bathroom. Another 1/3 of the schools have occassional fights and whatnot, kids are kids. The the last 1/3 is full of gangs, brawls, drug dealing, turf wars, you name it. It basicaly has to do with the racial makeup of different areas of the county. Very segregated.

HISD is much the same, with perhaps a little bit more of that last 1/3

Rem700SD
December 18, 2005, 02:19 AM
Compounding the problem is the shortage of HPD cops. I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but I think it's in the ballpark of 150 officer openings.

oilman
December 19, 2005, 06:39 PM
Has not Houston always been violent?

As well, is not Houston now the 4th largest city? More people=more crime.

In recent years murders have significantly decreased; in fact by several hundred per year (I do not have the exact figures at hand). However recently there has been an uptick in the number of murders. Mayor was on TV yesterday or the day before talking about several "hot spots" particularly in apartrment complexes of the West and Southwest side. Importation of a criminal element from among the Katrina evacuees contributes to this.:fire:

In addition there is also gang activity in various parts of the city.

Be aware and be safe!

1 old 0311
December 19, 2005, 06:42 PM
Hi Shootist,

I didn't have to get to the end of your post before 'Katrina' came to mind. This is also happening in other evacuation cities. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Kevin

TamThompson
December 19, 2005, 07:25 PM
Yes, it is happening elsewhere. I live in Hunter's Chase, in far northwest Austin, actually in Williamson County. The Polo Club apartments, 1/4 mile from us, took in about 120 Katrina refugees.

Since then, I have seen cars broken into and a home surrounded by 5 County Deputy cars for an hour. This used to be a safe neighborhood.

We are moving out to the Hill Country in one week. I've had it with Austin, and particularly this new development.

cz75bdneos22
December 19, 2005, 08:18 PM
agree with all the posts above, it sure is a little too uncomfortable here in Houston recently...

romma
December 19, 2005, 11:01 PM
two weeks after Katrina, My Girlfriend,myself, and her kids were awoken with the house shaking around 1:30am. We awoke from a dead sleep, evacuated the kids upstairs after I grabbed my pistol and charged down into the unknown on the first floor of our house. It felt like a home invasion, we thought it was BGs' crashing through the front door, but it was an "Evacuee" from New Orleans. :scrutiny: >I know I will probably get flak from people, but I cornered the criminals outside the house and they were arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphenalia, criminal mischief and reckless endangerement. >It changes you thinking people are trying to enter your home and possibly hurt the ones you love. The police did not give me a hard time about my tactics either, at that point I did not want these guys to escape. > After all was said and done, it turned out they were high and drunk and hit the house with their car(no small feat if you know where we live). They took out our well for 8 days, and did a lot of damage to our property and cars... >I am grateful that no one was hurt in the end. The element is up here in Connecticut as well...

Preacherman
December 19, 2005, 11:55 PM
From the AP via the Star-Telegram (http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/news/state/13442669.htm):

Posted on Mon, Dec. 19, 2005

13 Louisiana fugitives captured in Texas

KRISTIE RIEKEN
Associated Press

HOUSTON - Texas authorities have captured 13 fugitives wanted for violent crimes in Louisiana after they applied for federal aid as refugees from Hurricane Katrina, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Monday.

Investigators with the attorney general's fugitive unit found the 11 men and two women in November and December, using Federal Emergency Management Agency aid information. The list identified 29 violent fugitives in Texas. Among the 16 still at large are two wanted in homicide cases and one in a manslaughter case.

Most of the 13 were wanted on parole or probation violations. Four were wanted on charges of assault, four on robbery and three on sex offenses. One was wanted for failure to appear on stalking charges and one was wanted on weapons charges.

"These are people who have committed very serious crimes in Louisiana who were using the Hurricane as an opportunity to escape the long arm of the law in Louisiana," Abbott said.

Abbott said that to his knowledge none of the suspects that have been arrested have committed crimes in Texas, where thousands of Louisiana evacuees took refuge when the storm ripped into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29.

Abbott said it took a long time to get the list from FEMA, but after meeting with governmental bureaucracy and getting "lame excuses," law enforcement officials got the list about a month ago.

"We could have arrested these people a lot quicker had FEMA been a lot quicker in providing us the information we needed," he said.

Abbott said they were able to catch the fugitives because they provided their addresses to FEMA to receive aid.

"It is kind of crazy that these people who were fugitives from the law were signing up with a governmental agency for benefits," he said.

Ten were arrested in the Houston area, two in Fort Worth and one in Austin. All of them remained in jail, but Abbott's office didn't have any details on extradition to Louisiana.

Abbott said authorities will continue to search for the remaining 16 fugitives, including Troy Dixon, who allegedly tried to run over a sheriff's deputy attempting to arrest him after a domestic disturbance call. Dixon's last known address is in Houston.

Also still at large is Eugene Davis, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of a 6-month old. He's wanted on a parole violation.

Officials with Abbott's office said they were not releasing information on the two homicide cases because they feared that could hurt their efforts to catch the fugitives.

"If you are a criminal fugitive from Louisiana who tried to come over here to the state of Texas in the evacuation effort from Hurricane Katrina, we want you to know that we're going to find you," Abbott said. "We're going to track you down and we're going to arrest you."

jeff-10
December 20, 2005, 12:35 AM
Am I jumping from the pan to the fire?

Welcome to THR SteveJr. There aren't too many places in the country worse than South Florida so I don't see how Houston could be any worse. I just left the Miami area in October and I feel reborn. Not to mention I am sure there are more shooting related activities in Texas than Florida.

Bob41081
December 20, 2005, 06:50 PM
PWK,
The fight at Westbury was was on Ch 11 (CBS) the night it happened and also the next night. I also believe it was on CH 2(NBC).

Bob

PWK
December 24, 2005, 10:26 AM
Bob41081: don't have a TV in my house can't stand the things.

The chronicle had a story yesterday with the crime statistics since Katrina "refugees" came to Houston. They are up marketedly snice the hurricane.
The first article gave the statistics and details of a double murder in the Heights area of Houston. Here is a link to the story as it now appears.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3545788.html

The first story gave a lot more details plus it ended with a comment by either a police spokesman or a neighbor who stated if someone has a gun there's not much you can do about it.

I searched the chronicle site for the fiist story but could not find it and eventually the site froze up.

Preacherman
December 24, 2005, 10:50 AM
Here's another article (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3541466.html)from the Houston Chronicle - is this the one discussing the crime rate?

Dec. 22, 2005, 2:04PM

Face of homicides changing, HPD says

Killings up 23%; chief is reluctant to blame evacuees

By MÓNICA GUZMÁN and CYNTHIA LEONOR GARZA
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

An upward swing in the city's homicide rate — up by nearly a quarter from last year — isn't the only thing concerning Houston police. Officers say they are seeing more stranger-on-stranger crime, a resurgence of gang activity and more violence around apartment complexes, especially those swelled with an influx of Katrina evacuees.

Though officials acknowledged that at least eight of the homicides involved hurricane evacuees, Houston Police Department Chief Harold Hurtt said Wednesday that it was incorrect to assume that "the reason that crime is up in the last quarter of this year is evacuees from Louisiana. A lot of this is (attributed) to homegrown citizens."

To date, 324 homicides have been reported this year, unofficially, compared with 263 in the same period in 2004, he said. That's up more than 23 percent.

Most of the spike has come since mid-November, when 14 homicides were reported during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Police and city officials, who said they already had been aware of an increase in crime since earlier this year, then launched a series of initiatives intended to increase police presence in high-crime areas.

Late last month and under pressure from city officials concerned about police manpower, Hurtt instituted a $4 million overtime program designed to free up officers for patrol duty.

And last week, the chief announced an initiative to "dramatically" increase patrols in five of the most crime-ridden local apartment complexes.

Overall crime is down
Though violent crime is up 2.3 percent through November of this year compared with the same period last year, HPD officials said overall crime is down 2.2 percent.

In recent months, violent crimes appear to be on a dramatic rise, and police say, is undergoing some disturbing changes.

Fifty-one homicides were reported in November and December — a 70 percent increase from the same period last year, Hurtt said.

Hurtt also said he has seen a "tremendous change" in how killers and victims are acquainted. Twenty to 25 years ago, most killings involved friends or family members, but that is no longer the case — and it's making murders harder to solve, he said.

"One of the things that is making it so difficult for our homicide investigators is that a lot of these homicides are stranger on stranger," Hurtt said.

Recent killings most commonly start as disturbances that turn deadly, Hurtt said. Other motives include robbery, family violence, gang activity and narcotics.

Eight slayings have involved hurricane evacuees as suspects, victims or both, officials said.

"You're bringing people with different cultures, different backgrounds; they have different lifestyles there in New Orleans than we have in Houston," said Capt. Dale Brown of the homicide division. "The equilibrium was thrown out of whack, with people competing for jobs, competing for turf, or whatever it is."

Brown would not comment on what impact the influx of Katrina evacuees — many of whom swelled the populations of a number of low-income apartment complexes in September — have had on the homicide spike. He did suggest, however, that any sudden increase in population is typically accompanied by a rise in crime.

But the evacuee-related homicides "don't explain the majority of homicides," said Elizabeth McConnell, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Houston. "It's had some impact on the homicide rates, but it is not the only thing."

The holiday season usually brings with it an increase in both homicides and suicides, and not just in Houston, McConnell said. "When you increase the overall population in the area, one would expect to see an overall increase in crime," too, she said.

Increased gang activity
Capt. Brown said a number of recent homicides have been pinned on the increased activity of one local gang, and a gang murder squad within the division will more closely target gang crimes.

"The face of murder in Houston over the last year or so has changed somewhat and we're seeing more groups of individuals involved in violent crimes," Brown said.

Seven members of the Houston based La Tercera Crips gang were arrested and charged Friday in connection with various violent crimes committed during the last year, including 10 slayings — four of them in the last two months.

"They're rapidly getting more and more dangerous ... and more and more bold," said Sgt. Brian Harris of the homicide division.

Homegrown gang activity is not the only concern.

Hurtt said that after talking with state and regional officials, he is "pretty certain that (Louisiana) gang members did relocate here to Houston."

Capt. Brown said the department is still gathering intelligence on what role, if any, Louisiana gangs may have played in recent homicides.

"Is it possible and probable that there were gang members involved in some of those, I think the answer's yes," he said. "We're just not prepared to say it's a Louisiana problem at this time."

Hurtt said the department is "making headway" in gathering intelligence about Louisiana gang members in the city, despite difficulties obtaining information from a database of known gang members from Louisiana authorities, whose records were damaged by the hurricane.

PWK
December 24, 2005, 03:58 PM
Thanks for doing the search. I live out in the county and have really lousy dial up service and no availability of cable or dsl. Funny these are both availiable just north and south of me but not in my little area. This makes it hard to do searches especially on sites like the chronicle that run really slow especially since they changed the format of the site.

Actually the original article on the murders in the Heights appeared between the one you found and the one I noted. The murders were on Floyd street so if you do a search with that street name you may be able to find it. Also the comment about not being able to do anything if the assailant has a gun was made by a person named Gaedner, I think.

When I tried to search using Floyd is when my search engine froze.

Preacherman
December 24, 2005, 07:10 PM
When I tried to search using Floyd is when my search engine froze.

The name must have brought back bad (computer) memories... :D

CAPTAIN MIKE
December 24, 2005, 07:53 PM
We had a convenience store clerk murdered just the other day near where I live - the place where my wife stops regularly for gas or coffee.

It is truly sad that the lives of victims are taken at all, much less for a few measly bucks in a cash register. Besides feeling bad for their families who have lost a loved one, I can't help but wonder why so many convenience stores prohibit their employees from being armed and don't train them for SOME kind of self-defense.

Kenneth Lew
December 24, 2005, 11:41 PM
We had a convenience store clerk murdered just the other day near where I live - the place where my wife stops regularly for gas or coffee.

It is truly sad that the lives of victims are taken at all, much less for a few measly bucks in a cash register. Besides feeling bad for their families who have lost a loved one, I can't help but wonder why so many convenience stores prohibit their employees from being armed and don't train them for SOME kind of self-defense.

Civil Liability

Businesses prohibit their employees from being armed because they will expose themselves to being responsible for the employee's actions. If a shooting does occur, the business will face so much scrunity as to why they allowed to employee to be armed. Does the employee have adequate training to use such a weapons. What type of documentation of actual training does the employee have, etc. How would the employee react in such a situation and what about collateral damage of other innocent people.

The_Shootist
December 24, 2005, 11:46 PM
I head a clerk in one of these things has one of the most hazardous jobs in the country. If I worked in one, you can bet (especially in the Houston area) I'd be armed, regardless of what my employer thinks.

Heck, you have to be alive to be fired :what: .

springmom
December 25, 2005, 04:13 PM
I actually would probably never have bought a handgun, nor certainly gotten a CHL, until we moved to Houston. The last six weeks have been bad, and we are ahead of last year, yes; but if you google for what the most dangerous cities in the country are, we're on the list but not nearly as bad as many others. Of course, we used to live in Round Rock, which is the 8th SAFEST city in the country. That's where we moved FROM to come HERE. :banghead:

What really bothers me is the number of home invasions. That, and the distribution of these things in non-dangerous (so called) areas. Even allowing for the drug connection possibility for some of them, and that has been an issue for some incidents, there are an awful lot of robberies, carjackings, home invasions, and murders that really appear to be utterly random and really vicious. :what:

So I carry. And I am careful. I lock the doors of my car, my house, and carry a gun at all times. For Christmas I also got a Surefire G2 Nitrolon flashlight that is going to be a part of my daily carry from now on too.

Rezin
December 26, 2005, 01:30 AM
I'll tell ya fellas, it's not just Houston.. I live in a tiny little town called Bristol, PA. Even WE feel this. Now, I am doubtful it is Katrina related, but violence and crime are WAY up this year. Heck, we had 3 muggings in a month, and before that, 3 would take 2 years......

Bloods (the gang) have been in town, busted with some AK's I heard....



Somethin's gonna have to give somewhere........

Spreadfire Arms
December 26, 2005, 01:54 AM
i did the Conroe gun show (1 hr north of Houston about) right after the Hurricane refugees from New Orleans arrived. i had got a PD trade of 12 gauge Winchester shotguns in and i was moving them at $150. sold all 12 in a day, people were looking for something inexpensive, reliable, intimidating, and effective. :what:

bigray327
December 26, 2005, 06:54 PM
Hi, all. First post here. I just wanted to say that, after years of shooting other peoples' firearms, this increase in crime is what finally made me purchase one of my very own.

The_Shootist
December 26, 2005, 07:03 PM
....where do you go shooting? Texas City municipal range or is there one closer to home (Sportsmans Indoor range at I-45/Exit 29?).

Once you have a firearm you have to stay in practice.

Funny thing is, so far the body count seems low over the Christmas break. Wonder if that is about to change what with the nice weather and people being out doing bargain shopping or returning stuff.

bigray327
December 26, 2005, 07:52 PM
....where do you go shooting? Texas City municipal range or is there one closer to home (Sportsmans Indoor range at I-45/Exit 29?).
There's a little hole-in-the-wall on FM1266 here in League City that I use. Not the nicest place in the world, but it's very close to my house, and being a volunteer firefighter, it's important to me to stay local. I'm thinking about trying out PSC in Friendswood, which is nicer, has more ranges, and offers a $150/year flat fee. Kinda far, though.

Quite a site here! I've gained a moderate amount of experience over the years from various sources, but look forward to learning more from you all in the future. And, God willing, I'll never have to use that knowledge in anger.

The_Shootist
December 26, 2005, 08:31 PM
That place on FM 1266 sounds like the one where I usually take my CCW course and was thinking of trying it out sometime. I think it has beeter hours than my Texas City range.

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