Speed Reads

happening in houston

Curfew imposed in Houston to prevent any potential looting

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Tuesday evening that a curfew will go into effect at midnight and last until 5 a.m. in order to prevent potential looting.

The curfew exempts relief volunteers, residents seeking shelter, first responders, and people going to and from work, Turner said. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the curfew is a "tool to assess the intentions of the people who are out there," and officers will stop helping in search-and-rescue missions, instead making their priority "going after criminals and keeping the good people of Houston safe."

There are people impersonating officers in the Kingwood community, he added, telling homeowners in the flooded area that they must evacuate, then robbing the empty homes. Acevedo has a warning for anyone headed to Houston with bad intentions: "Word to the wise: Don't come to Houston, because you're going to be caught," he said. "And I guarantee you when you take advantage of people and prey on them in these circumstances, that's despicable behavior and we're all going to push hard to make sure you don't see the sunlight anytime soon." Over the last two days, 14 looters have been arrested, the Harris County District Attorney's Office said in a press release, and they will "will face stiffer punishments under a Texas law providing heftier penalties during a crisis."