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Keep Houston Press Free
4

HPD Tries to Make Convenience Stores Safer

Houston police made a point of visiting convenience stores recently to inspect how well they're set up to deter robberies, the answer to which, we assume, is "not very."

But the local Stop 'n' Robs, while they're always going to be vulnerable to the meth-fueled till robbery that nets $40 or the middle school kid lifting some Slim Jims, can make themselves safer, HPD says.

So they went around to see if stores were in compliance with local codes, which include having clear views of the register from the outside, working surveillance cameras and clerks trained in proper safety techniques.

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We assume the rolling papers or the tubelike vases for mini-roses, which are also useful for drug activity, are still fine to have.

HPD says the visits work.

"Last year was the first year we had full compliance and HPD visited virtually all 1,500 convenience stores in the city," Sergeant Mike Hill said. "In 2010, the city saw an overall reduction in crime. But the results were even more dramatic in convenience stores where robberies were down 60 percent."

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