The International Management District (IMD) and the Houston Police Department (HPD) are asking business owners to help them reduce the number of burglaries of commercial businesses by signing trespass affidavits.
In the last several months, the Westside Patrol Command has seen a decrease in almost every crime except burglary of a business, said Captain M.L. Skillern of HPD’s Westside Command.
“In looking at the recent crimes, we have found no geographical pattern nor any type of business that is most likely to be targeted. What I was able to find however, is that of the recent burglaries, 84 percent of them had no alarm system to alert us of what was happening,” Skillern said. “This means the thieves were able to break in and take their time stealing whatever they wanted and we had no idea anything was happening until the next morning.”
Businesses that don’t currently have a monitored alarm are more likely to be targeted, he added, and urged all business owners to consider this relatively small investment to protect their properties.
“I would think the cost of an alarm system would far outweigh the loss associated with a breakin, both in product and or property damaged and stolen as well as potential loss in perceived customer security,” he said.
IMD Director of Services Brian Burks said representatives from the District will be visiting local businesses to encourage the installation of alarms. They will also be distributing copies of a “Trespass Affidavit” for business owners to sign, notarize and return to the police station at 3203 Dairy Ashford.
“This will allow us to stop and question anyone on your property after business hours, and if necessary jail them on a trespassing charge without having to contact you,” Skillern said. “This will go a long way toward preventing loitering and may also stop some of those loitering before they can burglarize your facility.”
Owners and sole proprietors of a freestanding business are authorized to sign the affidavit, but tenants in a shopping center should ask the property owner to complete the form. Notary services will be available at the police station or free of charge at the District offices.