Houston Police Department

Burglary & Theft

The Burglary and Theft Division is managed by a captain who has responsibility for the investigation of all property crimes with the exception of auto-related thefts. The primary units and details of the division are as follows:

Administrative Unit
This unit is tasked with the responsibility of assuring an unencumbered flow of the daily operations and functions of the office environment. Provides timely responses to inquiries from the public and internal entities. Maintains all divisional records and files, provides updating on an ongoing basis on either daily, monthly or quarterly
schedules. Ensures that technology upgrades, both in software and hardware, are provided and that all divisional users receive the proper training and access required.

Alarm Detail
The Alarm Detail is responsible for enforcement of regulations, which govern all residential and commercial alarms within the city limits. It provides advice to citizens regarding proper permitting for specific alarm systems, and if necessary, assists them in identifying and rectifying permitting problems. It also handles all permit revocation hearings, as well as inspection of alarm systems and issues citations, when appropriate.

Crime Analysis Unit
This unit is responsible for assisting investigation units, other divisions and outside agencies with the identification of crime patterns, suspects and suspect locate services. This unit also maintains and audits the Case Management system and serves as the divisional administrators for several investigation programs.

Financial Crimes
The Financial Crimes Unit is responsible for the ongoing investigations pertaining to any and all crimes related to identity theft, inclusive of crimes related to forged documents to include personal, commercial, and governmental entities. The unit is also responsible for investigating credit card abuse, counterfeit currency, fraudulent identifications, and some white collar crime. Likewise, there are officers who are assigned to the Houston Area
Fraud Task Force and work closely with the U.S. Secret Service in investigating multijurisdictional and international fraud crimes.

Intake Unit
This unit is tasked with the responsibility of processing, monitoring, and finalizing the documentation pertaining to the hold placed on prisoners who are handled by the division. Before a hold is placed on a suspect, the unit reviews the facts of each case and determines if an investigative hold is appropriate at the time. They handle teletypes from other agencies and respond to each within the time parameters mandated by law. The unit may
also assist citizens by providing general information in an effort to educate them regarding their specific incident.

The unit is primarily responsible for follow-up investigations related to the unauthorized entry of a building or habitation with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Their jurisdiction encompasses the incorporated city limits of the city of Houston. The division may also investigate cases pertaining to theft, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass. Six squads make up the investigative details and each squad is responsible for all investigations occurring in a particular sector of the city. Due to the high volume of cases received by the division, scrutiny of each case is imperative so that only those cases with the potential for successful clearance are assigned for follow-up investigation. Each investigator manages every aspect of the case from assignment to final disposition. Though the division would like to investigate every case, the reality is that not every case possesses sufficient solvability factors that would lead to a positive disposition or successful prosecution.

Metal Theft
Currently, the city of Houston is home to 110 scrap metal businesses. This unit is responsible for the inspection and investigation of records, articles, transactions, followups, and prosecution of infractions within the purview of these establishments. Officers assigned to this unit conduct audits requiring on-site inspections of transaction records, direct comparison of article to documented record, monitoring of suspicious activity, issue citations when necessary, conduct surveillance and execution of warrants during proactive initiatives, and/or present cases to the District Attorney’s Office for review and prosecution.

Pawn Detail
The officers of the Pawn Detail are tasked with monitoring the activities and inspecting the transactions of 135 pawn shops within the city limits. By retrieving and inspecting the individual pawn slips and scrutinizing the types of transactions that are being conducted, investigators are better able to identify and take custody of stolen and questionable property. Investigators also work closely with other divisions and agencies to recover property that may lead to solving incidents other than property crimes.

Precious Metals Unit
Officers assigned to the Precious Metals Unit inspect approximately 300 jewelry dealers involved in the purchase of secondhand crafted precious metals for compliance with city and state laws. Investigators are responsible for ensuring that businesses are recording and reporting all daily transactions properly and accurately. Through the use of electronic online reporting, Investigators monitor businesses transaction to compare items sold to
dealers to items reported stolen. In addition, the Precious Metal Unit assists other divisions and law enforcement entities with jewelry related crimes. The Precious Metal Unit trains officers and businesses on the proper use and the effectiveness of using the electronic online reporting database. Lastly, Investigators conduct undercover operations on businesses and individuals engaged in criminal activity and related to the purchasing of secondhand jewelry. Investigators will issue citations and file charges when appropriate.

Property Detail
Officers assigned to the Property Detail review incident reports for property dispositions, generate supplemental reports, administer property hearings, dispose of property through the adjudication process, and investigate found property incidents. Ultimately, they strive to reunite citizens with lost or stolen property by advising the persons how to navigate through the process.