Over 40 arrested for looting, armed robberies in Houston and surrounding areas
By Jennifer Cruz
While some came to the aid of fellow neighbors in need, others saw the crisis as an opportunity to steal stuff. (Photo: ABC)
As of Wednesday afternoon, authorities arrested more than three dozen people for looting and related crimes in Houston and the surrounding areas ravished by Hurricane Harvey, while Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo warned criminals against engaging in such behavior.
“This is the state of Texas. We are a welcoming city, but we are not going to tolerate people victimizing others,” Acevedo said in a press conference.
Acevedo also confirmed a group of suspects was arrested Monday night after robbing members of the community at gunpoint.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “People displaced or harmed in this storm are not going to be easy prey.”
Authorities announced stiffer penalties for those caught committing such acts during a time of crisis. For example, while a home burglary would typically come with a sentence of two to 20 years, the same crime, committed in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, will now bring five years to life. Acevedo confirmed that he would seek the fullest possible prosecution and sentences for looters and others who aim to re-victimize residents.
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