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Over 100 people take over supermarket parking lot for dangerous parties

HCSO starting new Traffic Crimes Unit to curb incidents

HOUSTON – On Halloween night, a large group gathered for a “donut party” in a Cypress supermarket parking lot. The scene was caught on both surveillance video and posted to YouTube and Instagram.

The party occurred just before midnight at the Kroger on Barker Cypress. The store was closed at the time, but left-over skid marks can be found in the parking lot.

A time-lapse video shows the convergence of dozens of “souped-up” cars. More than one hundred people were seen racing around the parking lot and setting fires and fireworks.

The incident, while larger and more raucous than usual, is part of a growing trend in Harris County.

In lockstep with the pandemic, incidents of parking lot parties and street racing have soared this year. Officials said the rise may be because young adults have less access to other forms of entertainment.

But, the parties have become a big problem. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office formed a brand new Traffic Crimes Unit to focus on this crime and other related crimes.

According to officials, participants at these events can be charged with organized crime.

“That’s correct because we have over 100 people in those locations, so even if we have three people, I’ll do that all day long,” Veteran Sgt. Anna Ortiz said, who is in charge of the new unit.

On Monday at 10 p.m., KPRC 2 Investigates goes inside the cars, culture and crimes associated with this growing trend, including a video of an illegal street racing incident that happened in the middle of Houston in broad daylight.

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Email: Investigates@kprc.com