The Harris County Attorney's Office reached an agreement with the owners of two Brays Oaks convenience stores to help fight crime happening near those businesses.
The attorney's office sued I & A Food Mart, located at 6060 W. Belfort, and the Albury Food Mart, located at 11129 Albury, saying both harbored gang activity. The agreement requires the convenience stores to schedule random daily security patrols, random drug testing for employees, and random drug dog sweeps of the stores.
"One of the stores that had a murder there some months ago and we felt that the store owners could do more to control the crime," said Assistant County Attorney Robert Soard.
The stores must also post a photo array of the seven gang members accused of selling drugs in the area, who are forbidden from entering a 0.7-square-mile area in southwest Houston where the stores are located. They go to trial on May 28.
Irene Delao has lived in the Brays Oaks district for a year.
"I witnessed a murder right here. They killed this guy right here outside my window," she said. "[I] witnessed a rape."
Delao welcomed the changes.
"I feel a lot safer," she added.
The store owners offered no comment on the agreement.
The attorney's office now plans to shift its focus to other high-crime neighborhoods in the county.