HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The city of Patton Village in Montgomery County has issued a mandatory curfew that goes into effect starting at 12 a.m. on Tuesday. The order comes after the Patton Village Police Department said they’ve received reports of looters preying on flood victims’ homes.
Police Chief Shannon Sharp said the curfew was enacted to help deter looters after authorities said they received multiple reports of potential looters around the area.
Jackie Byrd has lived in Patton Village his whole life.
“I got about two inches from being on my porch. Another two inches and it would’ve gotten into my home. My house is 11-feet off the ground and it’s like a raging river coming through,” said Byrd.
Byrd said seeing his hometown ravaged by last week’s flood waters and left with nothing much but debris, is devastating to say the least.
“Before the tax day floods, it was ‘94 before we had any floods. Then the tax day floods came and they keep seeming to come repeatedly after that. It’s pretty bad. If you stay long enough, it destroys everyone’s life and then soon, everyone’s gone,” Byrd said.
To make matters worse, Patton Village Police said the department started receiving reports of potential looters suspiciously hanging around flooded homes. Residents say looting was a major problem that was particularly bad after Harvey.
“People steal anything-- lawn mowers, weed eaters-- because nobody had been living there,” said Humberto Oliva.
Some residents are in such disbelief, they even had sympathy for those who’d prey on the vulnerable.
“It’s probably terrible for us, but maybe they’re doing because they need it. Maybe because they don’t have options,” Yulma Mayo said.
To help curb the problem, police have now issued a curfew that goes into effect from midnight to 6 a.m. until further notice.
“It’s horrible those people lost everything,” Byrd said.
Police also said if caught, those who steal from people who’ve already been victimized will receive the highest charges possible, because that will not be tolerated.
Anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious should report it to the Patton Village Police Dept. at 281-689-9511. After 5 p.m. call the 24-hour dispatch center at 936-760-5800. If it is a theft or burglary in progress call 911.