Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Smash, Grab and on the Run

Sheriff Adrian Garcia

In show of resolve and unity Crime Stoppers of Houston and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia took to the podium at a Monday afternoon press conference. Crime Stoppers, along with members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department appealed to the public for assistance in solving and preventing smash and grab thefts in and around Houston.

Each smash and grab theft adheres to an efficient and methodical design.  Groups of masked individuals rush into local businesses wielding hammers.  In recent weeks the following has occurred throughout our community.

  • Since December 22, 2011 at least 18 smash and grab thefts have occurred in Houston and Harris County.
  • Equal to a smash and grab theft every 3.8 days, or 28% of days.
  • Averaging approximately 40 seconds per heist, those 18 thefts totaled only 12 minutes in 68 days.
  • Those 12 minutes accounted for millions of dollars in stolen merchandise.
  • High end jewelry such as Rolex watches, gold and precious gems are targeted by thieves
  • Thieves operate in an area stretching over 1700 square miles.
  • Smash and grab thieves generally target businesses in the evening at approximately 6:30 pm.  Smash and grabs as early as 3:30 pm and as late as 7:30 pm have been reported.
  • 15 of the most recent thefts occurred after 6:00 pm.

In a message to the perpetrators of the recent ring of smash and grabs, Sheriff Adrian Garcia stated, “If you want to smash and grab, no problem, we can too.  So don’t be surprised when the Harris County Sheriff’s Office smashes your front door.”  As chuckles from the press conference attendees subsided, the Sheriff continued to address the serious and dangerous nature of smash and grab incidents, “We don’t want [an accident] to happen.  We want to keep safe businesses and citizens.  It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”

Smash and grabs at the Galleria, Memorial City Mall and First Colony mall have captured the attention of Houston’s citizens.  In partnership with area retailer Cash American, Crime Stoppers has launched a first of its kind initiative to stem the tide of smash and grab thefts and apprehend the suspects.   

Crime Stoppers announced an increased reward for information that leads to the filing of felony charges or the arrest of a suspect(s) in these cases.  Up to $10,000 is now being offered to anonymous callers to the 713-222-TIPS phone line.   

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