(National Sentinel) Disaster: The state of Texas and the city of Houston have a stiff law enforcement-themed message for looters: If you’re caught and convicted, you could be sentenced to prison for a lot longer than you think.
As reported by ABC Houston, under normal conditions persons who, say, break into a home are subject to 2 to 20 years in jail. But under Texas law, those caught taking advantage of victims during a disaster — breaking into a home or business during Hurricane Harvey, for instance — could face penalties of 5 years to life.
“People displaced or harmed in this storm are not going to be easy prey,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
“This is the state of Texas. We are a welcoming city, but we are not going to tolerate people victimizing others,” Houston PD chief Art Acevedo added.
Houston Police thus far have arrested 14 alleged looters, including an armed gang allegedly robbing victims and residents.
Acevedo said he will push for the fullest prosecution possible for any crimes committed during such a sensitive period.
While the rain threat is over, Houston has been placed under a curfew, The Associated Press reported.
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S.
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