Ground zero of west Houston’s current crime scare is a car wash owned by a former Houston Oiler. It was here, Aug. 5, that 64-year-old Rolando Rivas was gunned down, allegedly by four teenage Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Speakers at a recent Houston West Chamber of Commerce luncheon and numerous others at a heated public forum Wednesday night cited the slaying as the last straw. Getting hard numbers on Katrina-related crimes other than homicides is difficult, but Mayor Bill White continued the tough talk when asked about the issue Thursday.
“Anybody who comes in here who has the intent to commit a crime,” he said, “they’ll know that in Houston, Texas, we don’t tolerate that, and you’re likely to wind up with a criminal record and in jail.” At City Hall, council members who represent the area acknowledged that constituents have complained about crime, particularly among evacuees. “We have to find a solution to the crime problem,” said Councilwoman Pam Holm.