Extra Patrols to Address Recent Robberies

Deputies with Harris County Precinct 6 conducted a special crime reduction initiative to address recent robberies in the Denver Harbor neighborhood in east Houston. Extra patrols went out to businesses where crimes have taken place. Pat Hernandez visited one of those businesses where a deputy constable conducted an on-sight investigation where a robbery took place.

The east side of Houston had seen a 10 percent drop in the crime rate compared to overall crime in the city. But lately that trend has reversed, with a rash of robberies.

“It may be a thrill for them to do something like this, it may for economic purposes but, it needs to stop before things get worse and somebody gets seriously hurt.”

Sgt. Julio Banda is with Precinct 6, Constable Victor Trevino’s office. He says their investigation has found the robbers are believed to be in their late teens to early 20s. This woman who, for the sake of her security wanted to be known only as D, says she was held up in broad daylight while working at a gas station north of I-10 near Lyons. She says it’s comforting to have Sgt. Banda come by to make sure she’s alright.

“He’s came over here to let me know what’s going on, the questions that I’ve asked, he’s been able to give me an answer and, stuff that he’s needed, I’ve been able to provide for him.”

Hernandez: “Whenever a situation like that happens, do you just automatically switch to keen vision to make sure that if he happens to get caught, that you’re gonna remember who this guy is?”

D: “Yeah I mean, it hasn’t happened to me before umm…I just did what he said. He said GIVE ME THE MONEY so, I tried to give it all to him.”

Sgt. Banda says the recent robberies have become more violent.

“In most of the cases that we investigated, they’ve all involved firearms and they’ve involved them coming in and taking the people’s cell phones and smashing them on the floor, being very demanding, being very aggressive, and we want to catch these people before somebody gets seriously hurt or killed.”

Hernandez: “To those who may encounter a situation like this woman did. Best thing to do is to comply?”

Banda: “The best thing to do is just to comply. If they ask for the money, just give them the money. Do not resist them, do not argue with them. Just do as they say, and try to get as much information as you can from them such as any identifiers what they’re wearing, any physical marks or tatoos. That will help us greatly in our investigation.”

D realizes the dangers that come with her job.

“Of course you do. That’s something that you know when you come into this kind of a job, that it’s either gonna be your turn or, there’s a high possibility that yes, it could happen.”

Hernandez: “So, how do you feel now that you’ve become a victim?”

D: “It was an ugly feeling, umm but, I’m still here so, it’s all good.”

Last year Precinct 6 joined the Houston Police Department in providing manpower and resources to a police store front located at the Denver Harbor Multi-Purpose Center. That presence has lead to a reduction in crime in the area.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

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