Katrina Victims Blamed for Houston Crime


August 14, 2006, 08:19 PM
Houston sounds like a place to stay away from. I am surprised that the Texans aren't shooting back more.

Katrina Victims Blamed for Houston Crime

Associated Press Writer


A letter to inmate No. 1352951 and a cell phone bill for $76.63, both found in a soggy New Orleans duplex ruined by Hurricane Katrina, led Louisiana bounty hunter James Martin to Texas.


It marked the seventh time since Katrina that Martin, whose pursuit of bail jumpers often begins with clues salvaged from abandoned New Orleans homes, has followed a trail to Texas.

"I don't think Texas really knows what they got," Martin said.

Katrina sent a lot of bad guys to Texas, as Houston is finding out.

Houston took in 150,000 evacuees _ the most of any U.S. city _ after Katrina struck on Aug. 29. Houston police believe the evacuees are partly responsible for a nearly 17.5 percent increase in homicides so far this year over the same period in 2005.

About 21 percent of Houston's 232 homicides through July 25 involved an evacuee as either a suspect or a victim, according to police, who attribute much of the bloodshed to fighting among rival New Orleans gang members.

"New Orleans allowed a lot of these guys to stay on the street for whatever reason or be picked up and released after 60 days," said Capt. Dale Brown, who oversees Houston's homicide division. "Texas law, I don't want to say it's tougher, but we take these offenses very seriously."

Judge Robert Eckels, chief executive of Harris County, which includes Houston, said Katrina evacuees arrested in the Houston have cost the county's criminal justice system more than $18 million. In June, Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent $19.5 million to Houston to help pay for additional officers and overtime to police the city after Katrina.

The police and the Harris County sheriff's department said they have no figures on how many Katrina evacuees have been arrested. Houston police said misdemeanor and felony arrests overall actually dropped last fall from the same period a year earlier. But the sheriff's department reported a 41 percent increase in felony arrests in November from the year before.

"I think some saw (Katrina) as an opportunity," Martin's bounty- hunting partner, Michael Wright, said of evacuees who fled New Orleans with criminal records. "No one knows who they are over here."

Katrina evacuees received fair warning when they arrived in Houston. Days after the storm, Mayor Bill White went on television, flanked by Houston police, and welcomed Katrina's bedraggled survivors with a stern warning that a jail cell was waiting for anyone who crossed the line.

Evacuee Vincent Wilson, a leader of the Katrina Survivors Association, was impressed. He said that in New Orleans before Katrina, "everyone knows that if the jail's crowded you get a slap on the hand and get released."

Eckels predicted the county's worst guests will go home once their federal assistance dries up. And if many choose to stick around, the county will be ready: "We don't put up with it here. If you break the law, you're going to be prosecuted."

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August 14, 2006, 08:30 PM
Sounds like Texas has an outlaw trade deficit, kinda like after the Civil War.

Time to up the exports!

That said, I've met a few people displaced by Katrina, here in San Diego. Good folks, with great dogs and a great attitude. I hope that this problem doesn't cause them to be painted with a broad, negative brush.

August 14, 2006, 08:36 PM
Its not that bad as the story sounds,Its the rival gangs trying to posture
for turf that are knocking each other off.
when you live in apartment complexes things can get a little tense.
I dont have any problems like that as I live about 35 miles out of houston
more out in the country where things are still peacefull.

August 14, 2006, 08:40 PM
Its not just Houston. Katrina "victims" are causing trouble in San Antonio and Dallas/Fort Worth too, among other places.

I have a problem calling them "victims", because most of them were flat broke, on welfare, and living in the worst of neighborhoods. Katrina may have been the best thing to happen to alot of them. They got a free bus ticket out of their crappy neighborhoods, got a free $2000 from FEMA, free boarding almost indefinitely. And all at taxpayer expense.

Gotta love how our government subsidizes people that dont contribute to the system. :cuss:

August 14, 2006, 08:52 PM
I have a problem calling them "victims", because most of them were flat broke, on welfare, and living in the worst of neighborhoods.

They're only victims in that they've been paid to destroy their lives, sometimes for several generations. When you offer to pay someone for something, you'll generally get takers.

We're all victims of that system, though, especially if we pay for it with our tax money, then have to deal with the human refuse that system produces and/or enables.

August 14, 2006, 08:52 PM
Here in Utah, we accepted several hundred refugees. There were some very positive stories. One kid who graduated high school here, who said, if he had stayed in NO, it never would have happened. A family whose rental time was up had their home bought for them after a collection of various charities. Our new Cabela's store employed several people in the warehouse. There have been several news stories of people who are thrilled to stay here and are well on their way to putting their lives back together.

BUT, there's always one guy who ruins it for everyone. One guy who was riding the benefit wave way up onto shore, had received several eviction notices, and when he left, he torched the place. Damaged several apartments. Now facing charges of (!?) ARSON for trying to burn down his government furnished apartment.

We all knew, when the crisis hit, that there would be a huge ammount of aid handed out. We also knew, there would be a LOT of abuse, and there was. But in circumstances like that, I think we need to give it out anyway, and just deal with it.

August 14, 2006, 09:10 PM
As a former New Orleans resident, I have to say, the first thing I thought when I heard New Orleans had flooded was, "I hope they don't come here."

Fortunately the bridges north and east out of New Orleans were "damaged" and they all had to go to Texas. Of course, some did end up here; this little town had its first "drive by" shooting -- perpetrated by two "refugees" from New Orleans a few months ago.

August 14, 2006, 09:24 PM
Bike trip thru Houston a week before Katrina and stayed with a friend in the downtown area. Not too bad but had to lock the bikes up in a fenced yard.

Ran thru there again a couple of weeks ago and stayed with the same friend.
He says its a toilet and so much worse. Couldn't leave the bikes even in a fenced yard. They had to be hidden from view or else they would have been stolen.

Friend leaves his truck open with nothing in it cause he got tired of replacing windows. Pulled the radio out for good. Says they run in packs at night stealing everything.

ken grant
August 14, 2006, 09:28 PM
Compare the way the people acted in N.O. to the people in Miss. and Ala.
Compare the way Mayors and Governors acted in the above states.

N.O. Mayor and people sat on their tails and waited for someone to bail them out. La. Governor did the same.

Officials and people from all walks of life in Miss. and Ala. pitched in and started clean-up and trying to fend for themselves as soon as the weather passed on.

I will never forget the FAT LADY at the dome in N.O. sitting on her rear and saying they need help and all they where getting was ARMY FOOD and they can't eat that stuff.

August 14, 2006, 09:30 PM
Sorry to hear that guys, but from what I remember about living in texas (lived in nNorth Dallas/Plano for 10 years, and spent some time in Houston), is that my house, car, and boat were all broken into...and I lived in a decent area. I'm not saying the refugees didn't make it worse, but it was already pretty bad. Hope things start getting better. Any more bad hurricanes (I've been through three bad ones the past 2 years) and you might find youself getting alot of FL refugees too!

Lastly, the one good thing about texas, is most Texans are armed, and the courts are pretty tough (and are quick to send to the chair/gas chamber), so maybe its just a matter of time to scare them enough to go back home!

PS - I agree with Ken Grant. If you look at our program here in Florida, everyone here pretty much has a supply kit for 2 weeks, outdoor propane grills/stoves, radios, gameplans, gasolene, generators and Jeb Bush orchistrates a plan in place days before the storm hits. We are also declared a disaster zone before the storm hits if it looks bad enough to get the supplies in place and not waste time. Our escape roads like I-95 / I75 and Turnpike are all turned into a one way exodus route to get everyone out. People still get hurt and it takes alot to rebuild, but overall, most of us are prepared for it. Lastly we have good volunteer programs in the state called CERT, which educate civies to learn how to act together and the procedures to follow to set up lines of communication between ham radio and your local fire/police services, check you community and neighbors, and search and first aid treatment.

New Orleans did alot of things wrong on all levels, which have led to a really bad solution in TX now. They need a better structure in place like the one FL has. In 2004, Jeb bush had power companies come from across the US and as far as Canada staged in Georgia so that we could be up and running ASAP.

Also its stupid the NO didnt prepare at all! We havent had looting here after our storms and most have enought food/medicine for 2 weeks or more. I bought 2 cases of MRE's to add in addition to my regular food/supply kit, just incase I need a months worth of food. I think the mentality that is different which is why the NO thing went so poorly!

August 14, 2006, 09:53 PM
A good many evacuess from New Orleans were life long criminals. Why is anyone surprised that those cities accepting those evacuees wouldn't see an increase in crime?

A city as renowned as New Orleans for police corruption and rampant street crime and drugs is abandoned and people are dismayed and surprised that crime increases in the generous places that offered to provide shelter? It's not like just the good people relocated!

For cities to claim that Katrina evacuees increased local crime is not racist or unfeeling. It's fact. It is true that most evacuees are law-abiding, but not all.

The court system in N.O. is a shambles and those scheduled for court dates were spread out all over. Katrina was a "get out of jail free" card for hundreds! Just because a catastrophe occurred dosen't mean that all affected are victims. A majority of evacuees were already wards of the state (parolees, welfare recipients, food-stampers, housing suplicants, etc.).

Neighboring communities opened their hearts and homes and are now paying the price. I'd bet that every community would do it again, it's just unfortunate that they were taken advantage of.

Hopefully, there will be no more government subsidized housing in high risk flood zones or in areas below water level.

Stupid, lazy people live off the government. Stupid, lazy people live where no one else wants to. Stupid, lazy people stay in below sea-level places during mandatory hurricane evacuations. Worse, bigger and more damaging hurricanes occurred, but not in a more government-reliable, non-self-sufficient, "it'll never happen here" place than New Orleans.

True, levees broke. They were insufficient. That's why mandatory evacuation was declared. That's why buses were provided. Choose to stay, pay the consequences. Don't blame others after the fact.

Just because you are a disaster evacuee doesn't mean you will all of a sudden become a law abiding or a self-reliant citizen. Those communities that took you in gave you the benefit of the doubt. In return, you took advantage of them. Shame on you! You have shamed all Katrina N.O. evacuees! You have lumped the good folks among you and cost them even more! No surprize there! You cost the good folks in your community respect even before Katrina! Why is it any different after?

August 14, 2006, 10:20 PM
These must be the constituents of gun grabbing mayor Ray that he tried to prevent from leaving. He still won which makes me think those who choose to live there must have some sort of self-hatred. I have been to New Orleans once and the cops were worse than the crooks. I won't be going back, but wonder if Colorado could not help mayor Ray with some people that would be big supporters, but are currently taking up jail space in CO.

the 22 junkie
August 14, 2006, 11:47 PM
Lemme tell you, it is is bad as it sounds. Last time my parents tried to employ a refugee to take care of my grandma, she stole her wallet and gas cards and absconded. :mad: :cuss: :cuss: :banghead: :mad:

August 15, 2006, 12:59 AM
Recently the MSM was getting all out of breath talking about how nationally the crime rate increased for the first time in several years (lots of blaming Bush and the NRA for flooding our streets with "assault" weapons and such).

Back then I was called some names for suggesting that it was the fault of Katrina refugees but I still stand by that theory.

In NO, they had high crime, high poverty rates, high welfare rates and a somewhat inept/corrupt police force ... so much of the crime there went unreported.

You transplant the bad with the good (and there are many good folk who moved here from NO) so when the bad folk show up in other parts of the country where their criminal activities aren't simply overlooked by the local police (and the communities weren't prepared for the large number of transplanted criminals) you saw crime rates take a jump.

Makes me glad I didn't live in NO before the storm.

August 15, 2006, 01:46 AM
yep... it's bad here and it's not getting any better. Between MS-13, our "guest workers", and the Katrina refugees, this town is swirling around the bowl.

I post this as I listen to my 5th ambulance siren of the night.

August 15, 2006, 02:14 AM
Eckels predicted the county's worst guests will go home once their federal assistance dries up.

And not a day too soon.

August 15, 2006, 07:07 AM
Eckels predicted the county's worst guests will go home once their federal assistance dries up.

And not a day too soon.

You'd hope so, but they've spent a year staking out thier new territory.

If eckels is right. my question is how are they going to finance getting all thier federally bought stuff back home? You should hear about some of the stuff they've bought witht he federal money. Bigscreen tv's, jewelrey, Dances at a topless bar. I've even heard of one guy trying to put 10 of those cards to buy a new car. The money was given to them to help start all over, instead most of them just blew it. It was a chance to buy something they couldn't get living on thier fixed income.

We're coming up on a year, and the federal aid money should be up in a few weeks. Once the money runs out they are going to fall back on what they used to do. I see an even bigger rise in crime when that finally registers. Crime is WAY up. Carjackings, thefts, rapes and murders, in ALL parts of the city. You don't hear much of that on the news, its mainly just the murders that are deemed "air-worthy"

It started the day they were brought here, within hours there were at least six reported carjackings. Remember the rape of a young girl in the astro dome? Here's one you may not have heard. Once Oprah went on air and told everyone that the refugees were getting $2000 check cards, there was nearly a riot from people trying to get back into the Astro Dome. Most of them are cradle to the grave welfare tenants. They do not care about getting jobs, or bettering themselves or families. They sit around waiting for the next check to come in.

As far as I've seen it hasn't gotten better. I'm not even sure it will. Problem is Houston is a BIG city, Spread over a lot of area. (It takes over an hour to get from city limit to city limit sign. And thats not including the neighboring suburbs.) Police force is spread very thin. Hell, I've got a SWAT buddy that has had to pull duty at apartment complexes (Security Guarding, or Deterrence).

I guess there is an upside. Many of my liberal minded friends have contacted me about getting a gun. Its unfortunate that most of them wait until either they or thier immediate relatives become victims.

Not much we can do but sit, wait and see. In the mean time, I'm going to buy more ammo.

sorry about the ranting, didn't realize how much this bothered me until I started posting.

shooting time
August 15, 2006, 07:34 AM
Things got worse around atlanta also we got a bunch from N.O. also and are now seeing they are involved in violent crimes and robberys here

August 15, 2006, 07:43 AM
I could have written this story nine months ago. Must be that Louisiana white trash, but we're not supposed to mention such things. :rolleyes:

August 15, 2006, 08:15 AM
Just drove through NOLA a few days back.

There is so much abondoned, destroyed property, the city will not regain its former population numbers for decades.

The only sort of bail out I would support would be the following:
1. Computer model what would be flooded if all pumps, levies, canals, etc failed & the lake, river, & sea had its way.
2. Bulldoze those areas & turn off the pumps, bust the levies, etc & turn it into "valuable wetlands."
3. Compensate the owners of the properties with a market value buyout.
4. Tell NO it can take are of its own self next time.

August 15, 2006, 11:30 PM
sorry to here about your Granma getting ripped off but just listening
to local news I though I was pretty much informed.
I applogize to all the houston folks for the first reply that tried
to make it sound not as bad as it was for y"all .

August 16, 2006, 01:17 AM
Well, Texas gets a double whammy win you consider that folks from Mexico are coming over and doing the same things as the Katrina victims. It has been happening for a lot longer, but there you go.

August 16, 2006, 01:40 AM
We forgive ya' 308.

The one thing people have to realize about Houston is that it's pretty good sized. I don't mean big like NYNY. The population is no where near as dense, but the greater Houston area goes on forever.

So when something is HORRID inside the loop, it might just be bad inside the Beltway, so so inside the Grand Parkway, and no biggie near Katy or The Woodlands. So things may not be as bad where you are.

I assume it's much the same way in most big cities. The apple is rotting from the inside out. Unless something is done, it will just move out from the center. And no, expensive trains to nowhere and new stadiums ain't gonna fix it.

I happen to live just outside the Loop 5 or so minutes from the Dome Area. Yep... Ground Zero for our Katrina Evacuees. We also get "guest workers" here and with them MS-13. 6 months before Katrina I dreamt about getting out of this town. 3 Months after the big dance and I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to move. It was no longer a, "Boy it'd be nice to get outta here." It became, "Where are we going and HOW SOON?"

Wife's probably getting laid off first part of next year so there goes one thing stopping us.

August 16, 2006, 05:02 AM
21% of homicides involving Katrina victims!?


August 16, 2006, 07:03 PM
Yup! Its tough to get a spot on the pistol range at Texas City on a weekend as the enrollees in CHL clases has jumped quite a bit. The rangemaster says (no hard evidsence - just a feeling) people are fed up and looking seriously to their own protection.

I certainly am armed everywhere I go here in Galveston - minimum is SP 101 stuffed with .357 and usually with either my Mak or Glock 1`9 and a couple of reloads. If you have a "serious social encounter" its no longer 1-2 guys but 3 or more.

People are also paying less attention to FEMA bashing, thinking if FEMA had acted / evacuated faster, all that would have meant is our murder rate would have gone up faster. Should have left the bunch of them on the rooftops in my opinion.

We had 24 people killed the first Thanksgiving weekend after Katrina. There was a war going on in Iraq and we didn't lose 24 guys in the same time.

August 16, 2006, 08:37 PM
A Hurricane Katrina "evacuee" shot and killed a cop over here just recently... from behind. I guess it's good that another cop blasted him to hell but that's an easy way out for <garbage> like that. I think a lot more places are affected than just Texas... here in GA they treat criminals like royalty... nice place for them to relocate...

August 16, 2006, 09:46 PM
I assume it's much the same way in most big cities. The apple is rotting from the inside out. Unless something is done, it will just move out from the center.

This is a very well documented trend, from an academic context. I'm a criminal justice major, and I've read study upon study about this very topic. I find it very interesting.

Its a cyclical trend. Affluent areas of a city's downtown gradually become crime infested low income areas, so the people with the means move to the suburbs. Over time, the suburban property values decline due to age, so the low income folks move to the suburbs in hope of a better environment. At that time, the affluent folks move back into downtown areas, which usually sparks "revitalization projects" such as high priced apartments, high rise condos, renovation of homes in old historic neighborhoods, etc. And the cycle starts all over again.

This is just a guess, but I'd bet that in future studies, it will show that the mass emigration of NOLA residents to other major metro areas will disturb this cycle, and cause affluent residents to totally relocate out of both the city and the surrounding suburbs. This will leave entire cities, and to some degree the suburbs, as ghettos simultaneously.

Deer Hunter
August 16, 2006, 09:52 PM
A registered pedophile was found to be living above my sister in an apartment ealier this year. He was an "victim" of Katrina. He slipped out under the radar while the authorities were busy, and didn't bother going home.

Thank goodness he's gone.

August 16, 2006, 11:07 PM

sounds like you need to hop on 290 and once past 1960 just keep driving
until you see an area you like.
CI FAIR area Hockley ,Waller not to bad out here in the country.

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