1700 BLOCK OF SOUTH KIRKWOOD
FRIDAY 11:30 AM,
AUGUST 26, 2016
CRITICAL BURGLARY EVIDENCE UNTESTED
DA ENDANGERS FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES
The Harris County District Attorney is failing to keep Houston area families and businesses safe from burglars.
There were more than 32,000 burglaries in 2015. 94% of the victims will never have their cases solved.
Now we know one of the reasons why. More than 80 percent of the DNA evidence collected by Harris County lawmen since January 2015 from burglary scenes has never been tested to identify the suspect.
This help explains why the clearance rate for burglaries is 6%.
The most recent excuse from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science (the crime lab): “We just can’t get around to it. “
"That may be acceptable to Devon Anderson, but it is unacceptable to the victims whose cases could be solved, and it is not acceptable to me," says Kim Ogg, candidate for Harris County District Attorney.
"When someone’s home is violated, they want the person who did it caught. With DNA now available from many burglaries, the DA’s job is to make sure the scientific evidence is tested and utilized to prosecute the suspects. The fact that police time is being wasted collecting DNA and fingerprint evidence, which the DA refuses to have tested, is criminal."
Data obtained by the Ogg campaign in June revealed that in Harris County, hundreds of rape kits sat on shelves for 6 months to a year without being tested and now we know the burglary testing has been totally shelved. “Management of evidence is prosecution 101. This is a failure of leadership by the elected DA.”
Ogg says the immediate solution is use of criminal forfeiture funds for a one-time fix to eliminate the backlog, and leadership from the front to obtain sustainable funding from Harris County Commissioner’s Court.
Meanwhile, the District Attorney has ballooned her budget by more than 20 percent, from $58 to $70M since 2014.
"Last month I called on Devon Anderson to use asset forfeiture funds, money seized by criminals, to end the rape kit backlog. She refused. I expect she’ll have the same response on burglary evidence, and it is because she is out of touch with the needs of real people who want to feel safe in their homes and whose livelihoods depend on their businesses."
While evidence goes untested, the District Attorney’s budget has ballooned by twenty percent in just three short years, up to $70 million dollars a year, while she wastes asset forfeiture funds.
Ogg will meet reporters in the middle of a neighborhood of homes, apartments and businesses along the 1700 Block of South Kirkwood, the site of four burglaries just in the last week.
office Ph: (713) 961-0521