Nearly $165K worth of booze stolen from NE Houston cargo yard

HOUSTON – Two men have been charged following the theft of thousands of dollars in liquor from a Union Pacific intermodal yard in northeast Houston.

Court records indicate the theft happened just before New Year’s Eve at a facility on Kirkpatrick Boulevard.

Police said on Dec. 30, a man driving an 18-wheeler entered the yard, hooked up to a shipping container and drove off. Court documents said there were 1,386 cases of liquor in the container; all bound for a wholesaler and valued at $164,316.75.

Police said the container was later found dumped near a vacant lot in Acres Homes and most of the liquor was gone.

Police said some of the liquor in the container was Captain Morgan’s and Smirnoff brands.

A contract worker at the facility allowed the driver to enter the yard, even though co-workers questioned whether that worker went through the proper checks, according to court documents.

John Paul Henderson assured co-workers he made sure the driver was prevented from leaving the yard with any cargo, even though surveillance cameras later showed otherwise, according to court documents.

The value of the container was listed at $5,149.92 and the chassis at $3,195.64. A man who answered the door at a home listed for Henderson said he would pass along KPRC’s request for comment.

Court documents show Joseph Warren Hendon was charged with theft, but has not yet been arrested. Police declined further comment; citing an ongoing investigation. UP officials said Henderson was a contract employee and not an employee of the company.

Special agents with UP’s railroad police are also investigating the theft.

About the Author:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”