News

Crime Stoppers of Houston Urges Harris County Delegation to Take Action this Upcoming Legislative Session on the Issue of Bond Reform to Protect Victims and the Community

HOUSTON (August 20, 2020) – Over 50 people have been killed in Harris County over the last two years as a result of well intentioned, but poorly implemented bail bond reforms. Ashton Broussard had four prior felony convictions and was granted two PR bonds in the days leading up to an altercation where he is alleged to have taken a gun from a security officer before being shot by a Houston PD Sergeant. Cedgadrick Harris was released on a PR bond after allegedly assaulting Kimberley Robinson. He then failed to appear for a routine court hearing, but was still granted a second PR bond. He then allegedly tampered with a government record and was granted a felony bond despite having obviously violated his previous PR bonds. After being released on two PR bonds and a felony bond, Harris kicked down Robinson’s door and shot her to death, injuring her 4-year old daughter in the process. Angel Cardenas was released on a PR bond following his arrest on capital murder and tampering with evidence charges after an alleged accomplice died of gunshot wounds suffered during a shootout following a gun store robbery.

Due to these cases and many others, Crime Stoppers of Houston supports the efforts of Senator Paul Bettencourt to prevent people from being released from jail on multiple personal bonds and Senator John Whitmire’s ongoing efforts to reform the bail bond system and establish a statewide, standardized system that sets bond based on risk. These changes would result in significant improvements to the pretrial release system in Texas by ensuring equitable treatment of individuals accused of crimes and reducing the likelihood of violent repeat offenders being released back on to the streets.

Time and time again, we’re seeing the same defendants released on multiple bonds, continually being arrested for additional felony crimes and yet are still getting out of jail on new bonds. The last statistical data Crime Stoppers received six months ago from local law enforcement officials indicate over 4,000 defendants have been granted bonds for violent and sexually related offenses. Public safety is at a higher risk when career habitual offenders are continuously released back to the community. All of us who live and work in Harris County should be on the same page on behalf of public safety. Increasing crime rates detrimentally affect all of us. Improving public safety has to be a non-partisan issue.

Crime Stoppers of Houston urges the Harris County delegation to the Texas Legislature to take action this upcoming legislative session to protect victims and the community by making public safety a central component of any bond reform legislation considered during the upcoming legislative session. We cannot continue to release dangerous individuals on to the streets. As Kimberley Robinson’s mother, Janet Robinson, said: “when you keep letting these people out are you thinking about the person that’s supposed to be protected?”

For additional information or to schedule a media interview, please contact Crime Stoppers Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan at akahan@crime-stoppers.org.

Crime Stoppers of Houston’s Response to the Death of George Floyd

As Crime Stoppers stands as the leading public safety organization, bridging the gap between law enforcement
and the community, we have spent a great deal of time processing the events that unfolded following the
horrific killing of George Floyd.

We all agree that the murder of George Floyd, and countless others, were tragic yet utterly preventable. The
officers involved were rightfully removed from their positions and criminally charged.

As a public safety organization, we support law enforcement. We do not support police brutality.

It is important to recognize the real dangers and threats that law enforcement officers face on a daily basis. With
that being said, we fully support a national response that unifies the operational practices of the 18,000 law
enforcement agencies in our nation, to include a comprehensive review and outline of all police policies and
practices regarding use of force, along with the discipline and removal of law enforcement officers when
needed and the parameters around rehiring officers who may have been terminated from other departments.
Additionally, we support new and unified techniques for training current and future officers, increasing
accountability for excessive use of force and improved data collection.

Law enforcement in our area represents the diversity of ethnicity and cultures that make up Houston. We
know that many first responders have paid the ultimate price on behalf of the citizens of Houston and Harris
County without regard to race, gender or creed.

Crime Stoppers is an organization made up of the community, represented by all and serving all, without
question. We hear the outcries of systemic racism and urge communities to come together, to listen, to respect
one another and to heal.

We understand our nation was built on peaceful protests and applaud those who are using their voices for the
betterment of all. We applaud their efforts and believe their actions can be a catalyst for positive change.

Our staff hears the stories of victims daily and a re concerned about the call for a full defunding or dismantling
of law enforcement. A systematic approach to evaluating law enforcement practices and time spent investing in
and supporting complimentary agencies is needed. Now is the time to give our nation’s law enforcement
agencies support, guidance and accountability in order to create a system of checks and balances that measure
law enforcement response.

Crime Stoppers of Houston has been focused on solving and preventing crime for forty years. We look forward
to being a part of this critical public safety conversation as the community seeks to enact positive change and
reform.

2/28/20: Houston Family Magazine: Mom•Me: Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston

When you think of the CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, I wager to bet that the last image that comes to mind is a soft-spoken, petite mom of three hailing from Boston. However, as I’m sure you have found, looks can be deceiving.

Rania Mankarious made Houston her home by rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. Citing a personal mission to serve families and engage the public to better society, Mankarious did the unthinkable and made the extraordinary move of taking an internship at Crime Stoppers of Houston in 2006 – even though she was an attorney with a master’s degree. Mankarious knew she had to be a part of Crime Stoppers, an organization unlike any other, and push it to its full potential. She worked vigorously and by 2008 became the organization’s Director of Marketing. Catching the eye of the community in March 2013, she was chosen to lead Houston’s leading public safety non-profit organization, Crime Stoppers of Houston, as the Executive Director. After positively impacting abused children, domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, homeless animals, entire student bodies and school campuses, neighborhoods and businesses, Mankarious was named Crime Stoppers first CEO in 2018.

Through her years at the helm and working side-by-side her incredible team, Mankarious’ legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids”, her footprint has elevated the organization to new heights. She’s created the first ever Crime Stoppers Safe School Institute – a full suite direct service program that got the attention of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. She was asked to train the entire state of Texas and Crime Stoppers organizations nationwide on proactive school safety. In the fall of 2019, she will launch Crime Stoppers’ first webinar series with local, statewide, and national experts. Other firsts for Mankarious include launching and expanding the organization’s Safe Community Program, Parents Against Crime, and the critically important Fallen Hero Program.

We recently sat down for a cup of coffee to find out about the woman behind all the achievements.

Read full story here.

12/4/19: Fox 26 Isiah Carey Factor – Be aware of fake sex trafficking warnings spread on social media

Viral posts warning of the red flags of sex trafficking spread across social media like wildfire, but many aren’t true.

Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious joins other sex trafficking activists on FOX 26 Houston Isiah Carey FOX 26 to discuss important things you should know about the human trafficking warnings you might have seen circulating on social media. Please take a moment to watch and share.

10/23/19: KPRC 2 Houston Life – What parents need to know about vaping

Whether you’ve heard about it on the news, or from teachers at school, vaping is a rising trend between middle and high school students. But what are the dangers for your kids? Rania Mankarious, executive director with Crime Stoppers of Houston, shares what parents need to know about vaping and explains how to talk to your kids about this topic.