Houston business owners frustrated with break-ins, crime main topic in Houston Mayor race

A Houston business owner is frustrated with the crime in the city after his car was broken into on Friday night.

Raul Jacobos, the owner of Cobo's restaurant in EaDo, said that this is the eighth or tenth time in the past month that a car has been burglarized in front of his restaurant. He is especially frustrated because his restaurant is across the street from a Houston Police Department substation.

CRIME: Houston crime: Report claims Houston is #2 in burglaries, law enforcement says otherwise

"I've witnessed it and I've been a part of it," Jacobos said. "It's just very frustrating." In December, his restaurant was broken into twice in three days. A suspect was arrested in that case.

The owner of Cabo's truck was broken into Friday, July 22 outside of the restaurant. (Cabosque Twitter)

Jacobos said that he has surveillance footage of the burglaries, but suspects have not been identified. He is also frustrated that the crime is happening so close to a police substation.

MORE: Houston murder rate plummets 27% in 2023, Chief Finner says

"When you're a child, you don't do mischief in front of authority," Jacobos said. "You're just scared of consequences and whatnot. For this to be happening as much as it does, the substation is right there. Obviously, they just don't have any regard for it."

A gray-colored vehicle, possibly a Nissan Altima, was spotted on Cabo's surveillance at the time of the burglaries. Several cars were broken into on the night of July 22. (Cabosque Twitter)

Recent data from city officials show that overall crime is down in the city, but property crime has seen a slight increase. 

Political experts see crime as one of the most important topics in the upcoming mayoral race.

Mark Jones, a Political Science Professor at Rice University, said that it is going to be important for the mayoral candidates to demonstrate how they will help reduce levels of crime in the city.

"There's a belief among many Houston voters that the county is not particularly doing all that much," Jones said.

Many of the lead candidates for mayor have given their stance on crime, including the front runners, Sheila Jackson Lee, and John Whitmire.


U.S. Congresswoman Lee has touted her dedication to local law enforcement, through her past legislation that pumps federal dollars into departments. She also says in a statement that she will continue to work with local law enforcement and the community to tackle the issue, and bring more police visibility to random crime. Her full statement to FOX 26:

Crime hurts everyone. Will continue to work with Chief Troy Finner, who is trusted by Houstonians, as he continues to fight crime in our community — as well as the men and women who work every day in HPD and support law enforcement.. Will coordinate with our law enforcement to specifically get violent criminals off the street. Will expand cadet classes. Will ensure that HPD is provided with the resources needed for a city like Houston that is growing. Will encourage federal law enforcement agencies to work with HPD to help fight crime and help end gun violence with more federal funding, as she has done before. Will specifically work with ATF to fight gun trafficking. Will review the possible openings of more police storefronts in our neighborhoods. Will meet with civic and super neighborhood councils to get a close-up from residents of crime in their area. Will target resources where crime is high. Will also work to increase federal funding that comes to HPD to have top-of-the-line cyber technology to improve policing efficiency. Will establish additional programs for Houstonians facing substance abuse and individuals suffering from mental illness by working with other agencies. Will target human trafficking and domestic violence with new task forces. Brought in almost a million dollars to help crime victims — will make that as a priority to make sure that crime victims are assisted with again, enhanced programs. Will do this by securing more federal grants. Finally, it needs to be said that HPD has done a commendable job on bringing down crime as evidenced by lower crime statistics. Will work with HPD to continue to fight crime in our communities. Crime fighting is a city-wide and community-wide effort. Will lead that effort so that every Houstonian will know that this administration will fight to bring crime down and keep our children and families safe.

State Senator Whitmire aims to tackle crime first day by increasing the number of cops on patrol. His full statement to FOX 26: 

As the longtime chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, John Whitmire knows what it takes to make Houston safe. As Mayor, he will tackle crime on the first day by:

  • Increasing the number of officers on the street
  • Equipping HPD to better address mental health situations
  • Holding violent criminals accountable and getting illegal guns off the streets
  • Providing "Second Chance" programs for former offenders to integrate them into the community
  • Teaming with schools, nonprofits and businesses for more after-school programs and job opportunities

Jones believes Whitmire will have the stronger public appeal on this particular topic as the Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee for the State Senate.

"Not only is he saying the right things to them about public safety and the need to invest in law enforcement, but he has a long track record as a state senator in supporting those very issues," Jones said.

Regardless of who walks away with the most votes in November, Jones says any significant change made to address crime in Houston will take some time.