HPD cracking down on convenience store crimes

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter , Frank Espinoza - News Producer , Jill Courtney

HOUSTON - The Houston Police Department is working to help convenience store workers prevent being targeted by thieves.

The month of March marks the beginning of Houston Police Department's "March on Crime," which targets convenience store safety.

"There are 1,472 registered convenience stores in our city, and we want to make sure each one is safe," said Sgt. Michael Hill with the Houston Police Department. "In 2007 there were 1,100 convenience store robberies. To combat the issue we began to issue compliance checks making sure each store had every safety measure in place."

On Wednesday, officers with the HPD South Central Patrol Division's Differential Response Team met with convenience store owners and employees to go over the eight points within the compliance check, which includes employee safety training, the use of signage, an alarm system, and security cameras.

"Our goal is not only to educate the employees, but we want to educate the criminals that if you go into a convenience store in Houston, you have the great likelihood of being arrested and convicted," Hill said.

Officers plan to make stops at convenience stores to make sure the owners are in compliance.

If the owners and managers are not in compliance, they will be issued a warning. In the future if the problem is not corrected, the store could be cited.

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