Restaurant and bar owners in Houston are reportedly sleeping armed in their facilities to defend themselves against burglars.
Restaurant owners have resorted to sleeping at their establishments in order to avoid a recent epidemic of break-ins.
According to the proprietors, their shops have been broken into several times, sometimes by the same person.
“I have been burglarized 15 times in the last year. We’re seeing, if they are getting caught, they’re getting re-released because of the cash bond issues we’re having. They can come back and rob us again.” Lindsey Rae, owner of Two-Headed Dog in Houston, said during a city council meeting on the issue.
They blamed Houston’s bail laws for the increased number of offenders on the streets.
A 2021 investigation by ABC affiliate KTRK discovered that Houston’s bail regulations have enabled more convicts to re-enter society.
According to the report, in 2011, just 3.5% of cases filed in Harris County court ended in the defendant being freed on felony bail; by 2021, the defendant was released in 18.8% of cases, nearly six times as frequently.
For offenders who posted felony bond, the most common offenses were felon in possession of a weapon, possession of a controlled drug, or aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.
The research also discovered that convicts committed more crimes while on bail.
In 2011, just 3.5% of cases had a defendant who was already free on at least one felony bail; by 2021, that figure had risen to 19%.
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