There is breaking and entering, and then, as Humble police say happened last week, there is backing your truck through the wall of a convenience store after hours, attaching chains to the ATM and -- whee! -- racing off into the glory of the night.
How anyone expected to get away with that is beyond us -- it's not exactly cat burglary, you know. Roused by the sound of collapsing wall, the inevitable witness spotted not one but four people who thought they could get away with this. And the really amazing thing? According to Humble police etective David Scott, three of them have gotten away.
Two were in the lookout car, Scott tells Hair Balls, and looked out for themselves. A third, police lost after chasing the truck to a hotel near Greens Road.
The one they caught, Floyd Bernard Payne, is a 32-year-old man with 25 small-time drug and theft convictions already behind him. Payne is really bad at getting away, and really good at refusing to help police catch his friends.
But Scott believes he would have them, even without Payne, even without his witness who couldn't see clearly in the dark. He'd probably have them all, he says, if the store owner just knew how to operate his security camera. Yeah, the camera was staring down on the whole crime scene, and from it, Scott has not an inch of footage.
"These store clerks will buy these high-dollar video systems," he explains, " and then they don't know how to work them -- and of course, we can't force them to learn how to work them. It's highly frustrating for police officers."
And super lucky for the bad guys.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.