On This Day: The K-Mart Raid!

Say the name Mark Aguirre to one of the older import enthusiasts at a meet and see what kind of reaction you get.  Some laugh, some cringe, most have stories, and those that made it to jail that night probably aren’t too fond of Officer Aguirre.

August 18th, 2002 is a day that will be emblazoned in the mind of many people across our great city.  In our local automotive community we know this fondly as “The K-Mart Raid.”  Aguirre set in place a sting called Operation ERACER (Eliminate and Remove Autos Causing Environmental Ravagement).  These guys were “supposed” to be out looking for street racers.  Instead, HPD closed the exits down to the now torn-down K-Mart and arrested 273 people.  They arrested everyone and it didn’t matter what excuse you had.  You had a receipt for your food and drink at Sonic?  Arrested!  You gathered with your friends and there is no proof what-so-ever that you were street racing?  Arrested!  You’re a 9-year-old kid hanging out with your family that evening?  Arrested!  This folly of police work that your tax dollars pay for was just a joke.  To top all of this off, FORMER Captain Mark Aguirre decided he would try to change lanes “Fast and Furious” style in his personal car a few weeks later.  A fitting end to someone who showed no respect for the law and due process.

I had just left that parking lot a little before that all went down.  We usually had a much smaller meet in the parking lot at Starbucks in the Carrilion shopping center so we could watch all the idiots run up and down Westheimer.  The only thing we noticed was a severe lack of modded cars.  I didn’t learn about the raid until the next day.  Where were you when it all went down?

-AM

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