For the most part, Texans are pulling together to help one another in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. We are helping our neighbors with property clean up, providing food and water donations to charitable organizations, and following the recommendations of our elected officials. However, there is a small group of residents who want to take advantage of the damaged businesses in the Houston area. Looters should be aware that law enforcement is ready and will take aggressive steps to protect the city.
As those who live in the Houston area and others who have been following the impact of Ike on the news know, we are operating under a nighttime curfew. With this extra measure at their disposal, Houston police officers have stepped up with extra patrols and they have arrested nearly 100 people on charges of looting since Hurricane Ike blew through the city last weekend.
Local business owner Hilton Williams shares the sentiments of many in Houston when he says, "If you're caught looting, you should go straight to the 'big house.' Don't waste the taxpayers' money on a trial."
Those who take advantage of the damage done by this natural disaster, in stealing everything from small drug store items to furniture to liquor stores, will not be dealt with lightly by Houston law enforcement. Houston Police Department Captain Bruce Williams has warned that looters will be handled with a swift, firm hand. Houston residents in genuine need of items such as medical supplies and safe drinking water should turn to the government relief stations or local charity groups for assistance, not to burglary in an already compromised building.
We certainly deplore looting in our beloved city. However, if you are stopped by Houston police during this difficult time and believe you have been incorrectly accused of a crime, please contact us here at Bertolino LLP. Our criminal defense attorneys are ready to fight aggressively for your legal rights.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Posted by Tony R. Bertolino, Esq. at 11:38 AM