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Crime In The Heights


md2hog

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My home in the Heights was broken into on Monday during the day. Thieves jumped my back fence and broke out a bedroom window....ignored the alarm, and stole quite a few valuable items from the bedroom.

I arrived home, cops had still not shown up. I called to complain and was told "we can't drop everything and come straight over to your house when you call". I won't share with you my response, but you can guess it was less than pleasant. I guess the boys in blue were too busy writing speeding tickets/illegal license frame tickets on Yale or Shepard to respond in a timely matter.

Glad that my wife was not home...she usually works from the house. But very concerned about the brazeness of the theft given the time of day. Of course, with three hour response times to breaking and entering calls, why would they be dissuaded?

Finally, I have been hearing the mayor and police chief talking about reducing crime and adding police for over three years now. Yet, I really don't see anyone doing a thing about either problem. They sure have figured out that red light problem that was causing such a public uproar. Does anyone get the feeling that the $$$ are more important than doing acual police work? When was the last time you saw a police cruiser in your neighborhood just driving down the street (ie...doing a routine patrol?).

I have been a Heights resident for 10 years. I understand that we live in the city. I do not understand why it takes nearly two hours for the police to respond to a breaking and entering call. I am sure that the businesses that were hit feel the same way. Proactive sure beats reactive. Reactive forces businesses to move from our neighborhood to a safer place where their windows don't get broken, cars don't get broken into, and they feel the police are "protecting and serving" the community and not out simply providing revenue for the city coffers by writing speeding tickets.

Rant over.

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When my Woodland Heights place was broken into last month, it took HPD an hour and a half on a Friday night to show up. Friday night, big city, no one suffering a shotgun wound all sort of adds up to a low priority for HPD.

I bet they didn't take prints or anything like that in your case, either.

If you want, you can contact me personally and we can compare notes between both burglaries.

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Prior to my neighbor moving a few months ago, his alarm would routinely trigger without someone breaking in. HPD dutifully showed up and looked at the doors and windows, even though they knew that it was probably a false alarm (apparently a low battery in a cordless phone can cause a false alarm). One morning two neighbors had false alarms, with HPD showing up twice within minutes. This is in the Heights.

It is possible that HPD did show up on the alarm call, but saw no activity. It is also possible that your alarm company did not send the call to HPD (I do not know your alarm setup). Even in a best case scenario, many burglars know that it will be 5 to 10 minutes before any police can get to the scene, and they ignore alarms.

With the recent window breaking incidents, there is some talk of Heights businesses hiring off-duty constables for additional patrol in the Heights. Rather than rail about cops writing traffic citations, you might consider urging the Heights Association to look into including residents in this patrol proposal. It would lower the cost per business/resident, and may provide money for better patrol coverage.

It sounds like you may have an alley, which allowed rear access. You might consider talking to the neighbors who share that alley to better secure access to it. As burglars prefer privacy, alleys are a better access point than the streets out front.

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With the recent window breaking incidents, there is some talk of Heights businesses hiring off-duty constables for additional patrol in the Heights. Rather than rail about cops writing traffic citations, you might consider urging the Heights Association to look into including residents in this patrol proposal. It would lower the cost per business/resident, and may provide money for better patrol coverage.

I believe the Crime Committee has been working on this for awhile. We got a flyer last year about this: http://www.houstonheights.org/pdf/Patrol%20FAQ.pdf

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...

With the recent window breaking incidents, there is some talk of Heights businesses hiring off-duty constables for additional patrol in the Heights. Rather than rail about cops writing traffic citations, you might consider urging the Heights Association to look into including residents in this patrol proposal. It would lower the cost per business/resident, and may provide money for better patrol coverage.

...

I was hoping I wasn't the only one thinking of this solution. River Oaks has their Patrol Off-duty HPD/Sheriff's Office deputy roaming the streets.. Albeit River Oaks is probably a bit smaller population wise.. I certainly wouldn't mind paying a small fee to see a marked "Heights Patrol" vehicle roaming the streets keeping an eye on things..

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usually when i set off my own alarm. the monitor calls me and asks for a password. I recieve this call within a minute. If I don't give them the password they call the police. I have know idea how long it takes for them to get there.

Edited by westguy76
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I'm over in shady acres, but close enough. Sunday night my garage was broken into twice, after the second time my wife called HPD's non-emergency line and they were there in about 10 minutes. She told the dispatcher it wasn't and emergency or anything though, so the response time was very good given that fact. The cops themselves were very nice and looked around even though I know this wasn't a big deal to them.

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I'm over in shady acres, but close enough. Sunday night my garage was broken into twice, after the second time my wife called HPD's non-emergency line and they were there in about 10 minutes. She told the dispatcher it wasn't and emergency or anything though, so the response time was very good given that fact. The cops themselves were very nice and looked around even though I know this wasn't a big deal to them.
so how do they break in twice? were you able to lock back up after the first breakin?
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Then post the contents to Youtube, Google Video, Metacafe, etc. - Embarrass the hell out of the crooks.

You better have a gun to back it up or you could be jeopardizing your safety even more, Just remember these lowlifes have computers too and are very dangerous.

Edited by Marty
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You better have a gun to back it up or you could be jeopardizing your safety even more, Just remember these lowlifes have computers too and are very dangerous.

I helped design a camera system for a friend when he built his home. He has a "secure" room where he keeps his servers that's pretty damned secure (fire resistant materials for the walls) and a reinforced door, it acts as a "safe room" if something happens.

Anyway, looking at options for the home security, one of the things he wanted was a digital camera system recorded on a DVR. He went a bit overboard (which he has a tendency to do) and mounted them all around the house one in a kitchen and a foyer. After the installation we were in the server room (slightly drunk) while showing off his system and realized two of the cameras had a "zoom feature" that we didn't realize it had. While marveling at what looked like Mission control in this "office" we noticed a movement in one of exterior cameras and it was a neighbor skinny dipping in the pool. In our drunken stupor we just watched in awe and panned and zoomed.

We swore NEVER to tell his wife about THAT camera. LOL.

Basically what I'm sayin', camera system. Yeah.

Sorry too much caffine.

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My home in the Heights was broken into on Monday during the day. Thieves jumped my back fence and broke out a bedroom window....ignored the alarm, and stole quite a few valuable items from the bedroom.

I arrived home, cops had still not shown up. I called to complain and was told "we can't drop everything and come straight over to your house when you call". I won't share with you my response, but you can guess it was less than pleasant. I guess the boys in blue were too busy writing speeding tickets/illegal license frame tickets on Yale or Shepard to respond in a timely matter.

Glad that my wife was not home...she usually works from the house. But very concerned about the brazeness of the theft given the time of day. Of course, with three hour response times to breaking and entering calls, why would they be dissuaded?

Finally, I have been hearing the mayor and police chief talking about reducing crime and adding police for over three years now. Yet, I really don't see anyone doing a thing about either problem. They sure have figured out that red light problem that was causing such a public uproar. Does anyone get the feeling that the $$$ are more important than doing acual police work? When was the last time you saw a police cruiser in your neighborhood just driving down the street (ie...doing a routine patrol?).

I have been a Heights resident for 10 years. I understand that we live in the city. I do not understand why it takes nearly two hours for the police to respond to a breaking and entering call. I am sure that the businesses that were hit feel the same way. Proactive sure beats reactive. Reactive forces businesses to move from our neighborhood to a safer place where their windows don't get broken, cars don't get broken into, and they feel the police are "protecting and serving" the community and not out simply providing revenue for the city coffers by writing speeding tickets.

I'm not in the Heights, but own a home over in Eastwood. For about a week or two, I had some kids throwing bits of concrete and sticks, and a couple of bricks at windows during the daytime when people weren't there. Police were called each time, and their response was reasonably good for a non-emergency. After the third time, they started providing patrols to the home three times daily to check for activity. Activity stopped.

Probably a good idea hiring extra patrols from off-duty cops or just going all-out with full-time constables like they've got at Gulfgate. They keep things nice and ordlerly in an otherwise iffy area.

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so how do they break in twice? were you able to lock back up after the first breakin?

The first time I assumed they waited until I left the garage and stop it from closing at the last minute because it was open about 2 feet, either that or they used the keypad outside the garage to get in. So I took the keypad down and made sure everything was shut before leaving. Then I went upstairs to email my neighbors to be aware of it, when I heard the garage opening again! This time I ran down there and they took off. So I'm guessing what they were doing was jumping the fencing into our back yard and getting into the garage that way. Pretty brave since it's only a few feet between our house and garage and the first time was before 9:30pm. Regardless now we have started locking the garage door and leaving the back lights on as well. We had some stuff taken off the front porch a couple of months ago so I put a chime on the gate and installed a camera out there, and now I guess I'll have to do the same in the back.

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sorry to hear that urbannomad. i know one neighborhood where people have broken into garages by going to the back of the garage and literally sawing through the back wall. the civic club president told me that 3 houses were done this way and the homeowners didn't know a thing til they went into the garage.

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I helped design a camera system for a friend when he built his home. He has a "secure" room where he keeps his servers that's pretty damned secure (fire resistant materials for the walls) and a reinforced door, it acts as a "safe room" if something happens.

Anyway, looking at options for the home security, one of the things he wanted was a digital camera system recorded on a DVR. He went a bit overboard (which he has a tendency to do) and mounted them all around the house one in a kitchen and a foyer. After the installation we were in the server room (slightly drunk) while showing off his system and realized two of the cameras had a "zoom feature" that we didn't realize it had. While marveling at what looked like Mission control in this "office" we noticed a movement in one of exterior cameras and it was a neighbor skinny dipping in the pool. In our drunken stupor we just watched in awe and panned and zoomed.

We swore NEVER to tell his wife about THAT camera. LOL.

Basically what I'm sayin', camera system. Yeah.

Sorry too much caffine.

LOL... Technology + Swimming Pools = Fun Fun Fun

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Interesting. Can you tell me about the chime? Wired or wireless? I'd like to do something like that.

Wireless. It's a pretty simple device I got at Lowe's for around $25 and it took about 5 minutes to install. The sensor is two pieces one goes on the fence and the other goes on the gate. When they are separated a chime goes off inside the house. I just used double sided type to put it up and even with all the rain it has worked without a problem. We really like having it out there, now we always know when someone comes in the front yard. Of course if we aren't home it doesn't help much, but it's a trade off since we did not want to have to lock the front gate and one of us is usually always home because we work opposite shifts.

Edited by Urbannomad
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Wireless. It's a pretty simple device I got at Lowe's for around $25 and it took about 5 minutes to install. The sensor is two pieces one goes on the fence and the other goes on the gate. When they are separated a chime goes off inside the house. I just used double sided type to put it up and even with all the rain it has worked without a problem. We really like having it out there, now we always know when someone comes in the front yard. Of course if we aren't home it doesn't help much, but it's a trade off since we did not want to have to lock the front gate and one of us is usually always home because we work opposite shifts.

Wow! This chime sounds great!

Can someone post a pic of what it looks like? Even rain proof? Incredible. Better than having a moat w/crodcodiles (last resort). :lol:

Picture please!

signed,

Desperate in East End Oaks

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Wow! This chime sounds great!

Can someone post a pic of what it looks like? Even rain proof? Incredible. Better than having a moat w/crodcodiles (last resort). :lol:

Picture please!

signed,

Desperate in East End Oaks

Be weary of the lower-priced brands. I got some small battery-operated chimes with an adhesive backing, but the signal stength was so weak that I couldn't get them to not think that they were seperated unless they were within just a few milimeters of one another. Since it is common for many doors to have a face that is not flush with the frame, the devices proved worthless.

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I got the $25 one from lowes and it works fine for me. It's on my gate so the two sides don't meet up all that close but it works fine. I did have to use some better double sided tape though, bc the adhesive it came with failed after about the second rain. Another neat toy I saw was a motion activated flood light that also sounds a wireless chime in your house and can turn on a lamp if you want it to. I don't remember the price but seems like a cool idea, so long as your light isn't in a heavy traffic area. Perfect for a backyard or something, but I just went with the old school, simple one.

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I got the $25 one from lowes and it works fine for me. It's on my gate so the two sides don't meet up all that close but it works fine. I did have to use some better double sided tape though, bc the adhesive it came with failed after about the second rain. Another neat toy I saw was a motion activated flood light that also sounds a wireless chime in your house and can turn on a lamp if you want it to. I don't remember the price but seems like a cool idea, so long as your light isn't in a heavy traffic area. Perfect for a backyard or something, but I just went with the old school, simple one.

I got the one that turns on and off based upon readings from a photovoltaic sensor and that is contained in a metal enclosure with a thick transparent plastic hood. Since installed, I haven't had any more problems with kids breaking windows (or the light itself). Too many stray cats and dogs, and a fair bit of pedestrian activity, so the motion sensor would otherwise be getting tripped too frequently for anyone to take serious notice.

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Good Afternoon,

By any chance do you own a dog that was able to bark and alert you or the neighbors ?

Its always good to become unified with your neighbors and let them have an idea

of your work schedules in case they should notice something strange .

Safety in numbers

That was going to be my suggestion, too.

1. Floodlights with motion sensors.

2. A golden retriever -- large enough to be scary, smart enough not to set off false alarms.

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If those Goldeneye 007 (from Nintendo 64) style automatic machine guns were real, I would recommend them too :)

By the way, in the game, if the blue guns see Bond, they home in on him and fire at him (they obviously do not shoot at the enemy Russian soldiers/Janus operatives/Natalya/anyone else).

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Got this from HHA today...

City Councilman Adrian Garcia and the Houston Police Department are meeting with citizens that are concerned about crime and safety issues in the Heights. The meeting will be held at St. Marks United Methodist Church, 600 Pecore, on Tuesday, August 28, at 7:00 P.M. If you have any questions please contact the Heights Police Storefront at 713-803-1151.

Edited by Tiko
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Got this from HHA today...

City Councilman Adrian Garcia and the Houston Police Department are meeting with citizens that are concerned about crime and safety issues in the Heights. The meeting will be held at St. Marks United Methodist Church, 600 Pecore, on Tuesday, August 28, at 7:00 P.M. If you have any questions please contact the Heights Police Storefront at 713-803-1151.

This meeting is tonight. Please plan to attend if you live in the area. We want Councilman Garcia and HPD to understand our problem.

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A friend of mine just moved to Dallas from the Heights. His reason - his house had been broken into three times in a few years of living there. I think his wife was from Dallas too, but the event that sparked his move was the third break in. It's really sad...

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A friend of mine just moved to Dallas from the Heights. His reason - his house had been broken into three times in a few years of living there. I think his wife was from Dallas too, but the event that sparked his move was the third break in. It's really sad...

His reaction to a burglary is to move to a city with a higher crime rate?

Odd.

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His reaction to a burglary is to move to a city with a higher crime rate?

Odd.

Well, 1. What part of Dallas is he moving to.

2. Why doesn't he use other methods of catching burglars such as security cameras, dogs, locking the house, etc?

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I think it's actually Forth Worth. I'm not saying this makes any sense, just the break ins really scared this family away from the heights. I agree that it's odd to move to the Dallas area when it may not be any safer. I think his wife wanted to be closer to her family and the break ins were the last straw. Also it seems that they think somebody was targeting them, and they wanted to get away from that possibility.

I just added that anecdote to point out that break ins in the heights seem to be fairly common.

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I bet the friend also suffered from chronic hobobfobia.

He should have taken Zoloft.

BTW, Coog, please open a photobucket account and upload that pic to it. Something tells me that PhiladelphiaWeekly doesn't like having its bandwidth leeched. I could be wrong, but I would assume the former.

EDIT: Removed Zoloft image

Edited by VicMan
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The Heights has been rough ever since I can remember. The old Coogs I know talk about Heights Rats (bad guys) in the 50s and 60s.

I wonder if those guys ran with a guy I used to work with (who passed away 5 or 6 years ago).

He grew up in San Felipe Courts (a running buddy of Kenny Rogers), went to Jeff Davis High School, and used to tell me stories that I couldn't believe about his school days back in the 50's.

He always found it funny that people thought gang violence was a recent development. He said knife fights were very common back then, and bringing guns to school wasn't a strange phenomenon back then, either. Also told me that HS gangs (himself included) were selling a lot of heroin back then...and they did a lot of break-ins back then, too.

So...crime and/or gangs in the Heights is not at all a new phenomenon.

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  • The title was changed to Crime In The Heights

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