Houston crime: Habitual criminal behind 20 porch thefts freed after judge reduces charges to misdemeanors

Eddie Hightower got his huge break in the 184th Criminal District Court. We don't know if it was the sitting judge or a visiting judge.

When we called to ask, no one answered the phone, and we couldn't leave a message because the mailbox was full.

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Some folks will look at Eddie Hightower and his latest exchange with Harris County's criminal justice system and think being an alleged porch pirate pays off.

"He should be on a poster frame saying crime pays, because it pays for Eddie Hightower," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. 

"He is a serial thief, he is a habitual criminal," said Ray Hunt, Executive Director of the Houston Police Officers Union. 

Hightower's lengthy criminal history dates to 2007.

"Over 28 different charges," Hunt said. "No telling how many times he's been arrested. This is 28 different times he's been charged with things."

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A court document states Hightower is a known member of the Crips Gang. An HPD officer says he's linked Hightower to at least 20 porch thefts.

"Basically, we've got video of him, people are posting it on Nextdoor to show this is the guy that's doing this," said Hunt.

Hightower was facing three felony theft charges until a judge in the 184th dismissed the three felonies and reduced them to one misdemeanor.

"Not only does it get reduced to a misdemeanor, you're giving him a personal recognizance, get out of jail free card," Kahan said.

The officer who worked the theft cases, nor the people who had their packages stolen, were notified about Hightower's big break.