Houston crime: Downtown business owners frustrated by city response to brazen break-ins

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — We’re taking a closer look at the rash of breakouts in bars across the city. Many businessmen also told eyewitnesses that they believe that he is the same robber. Still, despite their alarms, surveillance videos, 911 calls and even arrests, they said there was no way to stop him.

After ABC13 confirmed there were break-ins at three bars in the downtown east on Tuesday, two more business owners said they were victims. They all said they were sleeping in pubs now. They allowed them to defend their property themselves, saying that the robber would come back.

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“Our place has probably been broken into six times,” said Todd Jones, owner of Glitter Karaoke.

Sean Fitzmaurice, owner of Reserve 101, said: “We had the first of four break-ins on December 5th at 5.30am. This gentleman has been back every week since.”

“It’s beyond outrageous,” said Raul Jacobos, owner of Cobo’s in East Downtown. “I’m Hearted” Kobos broke twice in four days.

Three bar owners shared their anger, and a man was caught red-handed robbing their business during surveillance. They believe the same man stole about $50,000 worth of rare bourbon and whiskey from Reserve 101, $11,000 in cash and liquor from Cobo’s, and $20,000 worth of booze from Glitter Karaoke.

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An insider on the crime helped keep Reginald Jones out of jail on January 3 after he tried to break in with glitter.

“I went down to a bar called ‘Now or Never’ and chased him three blocks and subdued him until law enforcement arrived,” bar owner Calvin Albro said.

Jones had an assault charge filed in that case, records show. Police did not say whether he was responsible for the robberies, but officials confirmed they were investigating the circumstances of those cases. Meanwhile, Jones has been arrested, leading the bar owners to believe he will strike again.

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“The problem we have here is this guy is going to be caught and released,” Fitzmaris said.

They said they felt a lack of urgency in the city and that it prevented them from protecting their companies.

“From my own point of view, I don’t feel safe. If I feel threatened, I will defend myself in any way I can,” Albro said.

It’s a problem they fear will lead to an increase in crime or violence.

For updates on this story, follow Briana Conner on Facebook, Twitter And Instagram.

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