C & D Scrap Metal owner has message for burglars: ‘I’m going to catch them’


by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News


Posted on March 21, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 21 at 6:47 PM

HOUSTON -- Dennis Laviage, owner of C & D Scrap Metal, has been in business for 35 years. Burglaries at his business have been an ongoing problem.

“I work every day,” said Laviage. “These guys need to work also.”

He hopes a recent arrest will help deter other repeat and would-be thieves.

It was all caught on surveillance video.

A man is seen hopping an 8-foot fence – with barbed wire and razor ribbon – and walking around the yard, before an HPD officer working the security corners the man and arrests him.

Laviage says 33-year old Jorge Flores is a repeat offender, and he is hoping older surveillance video will help build a bigger case against him.

But as his sifts through surveillance photos of other people who have broken into his yard, he every break-in is costing him.

“I’ve already spent $150,000 on cameras, fences, razor ribbon, barbed wire,” said Laviage. “I have a jail system and 17 locks to get in here.”

He’s had other arrests in the past, but Laviage says his focus is on repeat offenders.

“I just keep arresting them, it’s like roaches,” said Laviage.

An off-duty officer patrols the businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to HPD, there hasn’t been an increase in scrap metal theft, but detectives say it’s a common crime: thieves steal from one yard and sell goods to another yard.

But Laviage has a warning for those who keep striking his business.

“It’s may not be the first time, but I promise you by the 5th or 6th time, I’m going to catch them,” said Laviage.