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Houston police chief to criminals: 'Don't victimize our people'

HOUSTON (KHOU) - Houston-area law enforcement officials responded to reports of looting as the city continued to face devastating flooding.

Officials in Fort Bend County said looters were impersonating authorities and encouraging residents to evacuate their homes. The suspects then looted the homes after the homeowner evacuated.

"You see the best of people, you see the worst of people," said Alan Spears with Fort Bend County Emergency Management. Spears warned residents that they should only leave based on official communications or at the direction of a uniformed officer.

In Houston, at least seven people were arrested Monday night.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said officers in the department's north division arrested four people for hijacking. Chief Acevedo said the four suspects were armed and were hijacking vehicles in flooded areas.

Three people were arrested while attempting to loot at a video game store, Acevedo said.

The chief added that officers are exhausted after working more than 30 hours without sleep.

"We're not going to stop, we're not going to give up," Acevedo said. "To the fools out there... don't come to Houston and victimize our people."

Despite those incidents, a spokesperson from the Harris County Sheriff's Office told KHOU that they have not been able to confirm and rumors of widespread violence and looting.

"We have not had a significant issue with criminal activity," the spokesperson said, before praising neighbors who have been offering to one another. “Continue to watch out for each other.”

© 2017 KHOU-TV

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