KATY, Texas — KHOU is verifying a rumor that’s been floating around for years; whether Katy Mills Mall is a hot spot for human trafficking and other crimes?
Online there are a host of claims and worries that surround the mall including human trafficking.
On Reddit, one user asks, “I have occasionally heard the claim, ‘Katy Mills Mall is the 3rd most prevalent area for sex trafficking in the U.S,’ is there any truth to this? Does anyone know of any studies or news articles that would substantiate the claim?”
Interim Police Chief Tim Tyler of the Katy Police Department says that claim is not true.
“To my knowledge, we have had no reports of human trafficking in Katy,” Tyler said. “I am not naïve enough to believe that with I-10 running though Katy that we don’t have trafficking coming through, but we haven’t had any reports. Katy Mills Mall is a safe area to shop.”
KHOU can verify, according to Chief Tyler, Katy Mills Mall is not a hub for human trafficking.
But what about other crimes?
“We do have theft reports from Katy Mills Mall and the surrounding area, but not to the point that I would call it dangerous,” Tyler said. “We also have a few robberies a year in the area but nothing to the extent that has previously been mentioned on social media. We have a strong police presence around Katy Mills Mall and have a strong working relationship with them.”
Tyler provided their crime reports for the past four months that show two aggravated assaults, one unarmed robbery, 10 cases of theft and one burglary of a motor vehicle.
So, we can verify: yes, there is criminal activity in the area, but Chief Tyler says it’s not enough to classify the mall as dangerous.
“What deters crime the most is to travel with two or three friends and do not leave personal belongings or valuables in plain sight in your vehicle.”