Houston business owners claim that a crime wave described as “relentless waves” of robberies has forced them to stay at their businesses overnight armed with guns.
Robert Curry, an owner of Coaches Pub, told KHOU-TV he had saved money over many years and moved to Houston in order to buy a bar to fulfill his dream.
Curry stated, “I lived in my RV the first four months I was here in Houston to start it,” “It was my baby, honestly.”
Eight months later, he claims that a series of robberies could have cost him his business. He even knows the drink that one of the robbers he spotted on surveillance.
Curry stated, “Weirdly enough he likes amaretto so there’s a bottle that he just cannot resist.” He will shop. He would take them and place them on the cooler, then return to get what he wanted.
He’s not the only one. KHOU reported on complaints made by bar owners and other business owners to the Houston City Council about robberies that would force them to close their doors.
Sean Fitzmaurice (owner of Reserve 101) stated, “That is the greatest problem right now. I and many other bar owners are sleeping inside our bars armed.”
Marin Slanina, Star Sailor’s owner, stated that “we are all being broken into and items in bars are being stolen.”
The police response to robberies is too slow for business owners.
Lindsey Rae (owner of Two-Headed Dog Bar) stated that the response time to alarms can take anywhere from one hour to four hours.
Curry claims that police have not responded quickly enough to the robberies at his bar.
Curry stated, “I love police officers but if they don’t pay attention to the smaller problems they become larger problems.”
Fitzmaurice stated that these men can be in and out within 15 minutes. “We are two blocks from a police station. We received a response in 45 minutes. We are the ones who know they are policing them now.
Curry stated that he is always repairing the damage from a break-in. Curry estimates that he has spent more than $10,000 on repairs.
Fitzmaurice stated that the prices are higher at his nationally-ranked whisky bar.
Fitzmaurice stated that Fitzmaurice is now worth around $100,000 due to the amount of money he has taken, the number of bottles he has taken, and the repairs we have had to make. It’s been terrible.
He has given up trying to repair the damage.
The bar owner stated that he has been coming so many times, we have stopped fixing the windows because he visits every week and we are tired of changing the window every week.
Curry claims he is not ready to give up on his dream.
Curry said, “I don’t know what I should do.” Curry explained, “If something doesn’t go your way, you won’t be able to hold onto it. It’s impossible for me to keep it. It’s too much for me.”
KHOU was informed by the Houston Police Department that they are working with business owners in order to prevent them from becoming vandals. They also stated that they have increased patrols around the area.
KHOU asked Curry whether he regretted moving from Houston to answer the question. He gave a sad response.
Curry replied, “I’m going, to be honest.” Curry replied, “Sometimes I do.”
Here’s the KHOU-TV local news video: