Only on 13: Kashmere Gardens neighbor rolls on couple caught illegally dumping near park, church

Erica Simon Image
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Illegal dumping caught on camera in Kashmere Gardens
Only ABC13 has Kashmere Garden's environmental issues to the forefront. Now, residents want to know who was behind a blatant act of illegal dumping.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Eyewitness News is taking a deeper look at how law enforcement is cracking down on illegal dumping offenders after an ABC13 viewer in Kashmere Gardens caught a couple on video committing the act.

The latest incident happened in broad daylight just feet from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and a public park.

"I didn't want to approach them, so I just pulled out my phone and started recording them. That is the best thing I knew to do," the viewer, who chose to remain anonymous, said.

That viewer says she's proud of how much tender-loving care Hutcheson Park, which is an area she visits frequently, got recently. When a man and a woman appeared to unload their small U-Haul at the edge of the walking trail and drive off, she couldn't believe it.

"I was very upset to see something like that. It just shows that they have no respect for our community. Not to mention the city has done so much to restore this park. I enjoy coming out here. It's very upsetting to see," she continued.

What the viewer witnessed is a growing problem, according to the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office, which partners with the City of Houston to monitor 137 cameras county-wide in an effort to catch illegal dumpers.

"(We see) every day how people complain over and over and over again how bad it's getting. We feel it's a challenge, and we feel like it's a challenge to go after these folks," Lt. Randy Scales, of the Precinct 1 Constable's Office, said.

If you're caught dumping between five and 499 pounds, it's a class B misdemeanor punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. The message from law enforcement? Don't do it.

"You may get away with it today, but we will eventually catch you. And we will put you in the system and make you accountable and hold you accountable for what you do," Lt. Scales said.

What can you do if you see someone dumping? Precinct 1 said if you can safely take a video or photo of the act, along with a license plate or something that can help them identify the offender, do so. Second, there's an illegal dumping hotline for you to call and report it: 832-927-1567.

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