Houston crime: 30 people arrested for vandalizing vacant strip mall in EADO; City threatens penalties

In the East Downtown area, Houston police have apprehended 30 individuals in the last year over break-ins and vandalism at a vacant strip mall currently on sale. 

The property, owned by BYG Investments and managed by Jim Carroll, sits on the 6200 block of Harrisburg and is listed for $3 million.

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Over the past year, the site has suffered numerous break-ins, primarily by repeat offenders. Vandals have caused extensive damage, shattering glass, destroying fixtures, and even stealing air conditioning units and wiring from the roof. Carroll says he's also discovered heroin needles, syringes, and human waste across the premises, along with evidence of makeshift campfires. 

The Las Palmas Plaza property on the 6200 block of Harrisburg in EaDo has been broken into and vandalized numerous times in the last year. 

"The majority of them went to jail," said Carroll. "Some went to diversion center or sobering center. But we keep catching the same people, and the courts keep letting them out on the street." 

Owners have spent over $12,000 on window replacements and $5,000 on interior repairs.

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As FOX 26 interviewed Carroll Wednesday afternoon, Houston police responded to another call of a break-in and found one individual found sleeping on the property. The suspect, a repeat offender, was accused of tearing down plexiglass to get in. He was officially charged with criminal mischief and trespassing. Additional law enforcement officers were dispatched to search for other trespassers. 

"It makes it more difficult to sell the property," said Carroll. "They look at the damage and think, "Why would somebody want to buy this property with all the damages done?"

The Las Palmas Plaza property on the 6200 block of Harrisburg in EADO has been broken into and vandalized numerous times in the last year. 

Owners of the Las Palmas Plaza, a 25,000-square-foot building, have been attempting to sell the property since 2017, coinciding with the installation and operation of the nearby Harrisburg overpass. They say many businesses have moved away from the area since then. 

On May 8, the city's inspection office issued a notice citing graffiti, which has since been addressed. The letter warned of potential liens for cleanup costs if further infractions occur. 

"The city needs to do a better job with the homeless population," said a frustrated Carroll. "We pay $30,000 in taxes on the property, there's nobody in there…and yet, the city wants to punish us." 

According to information on the city's website, violations of inspections can incur fines ranging from $100 to $2,000 each, depending on the violation and the offense. 

FOX 26 reached out to the area's Council Member and the Mayor's Office Wednesday afternoon, and we're waiting on a response.