Houston crime: Downtown business owners frustrated by city’s response to brazen burglaries

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — We take a closer look at a series of burglaries in bars in the city center. Several business owners told Eyewitness News they believe the same burglar is responsible. Still, they said there was no way to stop him despite their alarm systems, surveillance video, 911 calls and even an arrest.

Since ABC13 confirmed the break-ins at three bars in the city’s east center on Tuesday, two more business owners have said they were victims. They all said they were sleeping in their bars now. This put them in a position to defend their property, alone when they inevitably said the burglar would return.

“He’s broken into our place maybe six times now,” said Tod Jones, owner of Glitter Karaoke.

Sean Fitzmaurice, owner of Reserve 101, said: “We had the first of four burglaries on December 5th around 5:30am. This gentleman has been back every week since.”

“It’s more than anger,” said Raul Jacobos, owner of Cobos in the city’s east center. “I’m furious.” Cobos was broken into twice in four days.

Three bar owners have shared their anger and their surveillance video of a man caught in the act of breaking into their businesses. They believe the same person stole about $50,000 worth of rare bourbon and whiskey from Reserve 101, $11,000 in cash and liquor from Cobos and $20,000 worth of liquor from Glitter Karaoke.

A bouncer familiar with the crimes said he helped put a man named Reginald Jones behind bars on January 3 after an attempted burglary at Glitter.

“I was able to chase him down to a bar called ‘Now or Never’ three blocks down and subdue him until the police came,” said Calvin Albrow, one of the bar’s owners.

Records show Jones was charged with assault in that case. Police did not say it was the same person responsible for the burglaries, but authorities confirmed they were checking the status of those cases. Meanwhile, Jones connected, leading the bar owners to believe he was about to strike again.

“The problem we have here is that this guy gets caught and released,” Fitzmaurice said.

They said they feel the city’s lack of urgency leaves them and their businesses unprotected.

“From my own perspective, I don’t feel safe. If I feel threatened, I will defend myself by any means necessary,” Albrow said.

It’s a problem they fear will lead to an escalation of crime or violence.

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

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