Chavez spoke at the group’s meeting at First United Methodist Church Tuesday. He said criminals are increasingly using social media to carry out their crimes and can use it to determine when people are away from their homes, making them easier to break into.
“If you communicate on Facebook and post where you’re at, it’s the equivalent of telling (criminals) where you’re at and that you’re not going to be home,” Chavez said. “If you have a beautiful ring at your home, and snap a photo and post it online, you’re telling them exactly where it’s at.”
Chavez addressed concerns regarding visiting workers who come to Portland to work at new businesses.
“Most of the workers are good people, but some aren’t, so be careful when you leave your house,” he said. “Exercise due diligence. Don’t leave things in your car that are visible from the outside. When you go to H-E-B, don’t leave your purse in your car.”
Remembering to close garage doors can prevent theft, Chavez said.
“Open garage doors probably account for 80 percent of our active burglaries,” he added.
Members of the group were interested in whether human traffickers live in Portland and commit crimes here. Chavez said he knew of one Portland person who was arrested for human trafficking, but the crimes the person committed did not take place here.
“They were running (victims) out of shotgun houses in Corpus Christi,” Chavez said. “We don’t have a lot of that. We do have a lot of migrant workers.”
Chavez said U.S. Border Patrol agents park on Moore Avenue to watch trucks passing below on U.S. 181 to determine if they are carrying human trafficking victims.
“They look to see if there are stacks in the backs of trucks,” Chavez said.