Texas Landowners: Smuggler Pursuits Cause Thousands In Property Damage

AUSTIN (April 9, 2013)--Landowners told Texas lawmakers Tuesday that police pursuits of smugglers through the borderlands cause more than $100,000 in property damage every year.

In testimony before the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence on Tuesday, Susan Durham of the South Texans' Property Rights Association said the chases have ended in 1,000 wrecks in 10 counties in the past three years.

State Rep. Jose Manuel Lozano, R-Kingsville, offered the committee House Bill 1713 which would reimburse landowners, allowing counties to use the money raised by selling the wrecked cars to pay $1,000 or more for each damaged fence.

San Antonio Police Sgt. James Jones said the proposal would deprive big cities of money from asset seizures.

Lozano said he would write a new version with an exemption for urban counties.

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