Howdy all you Buckaroos and Buckarettes.

With the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo being around, I figured it was time to saddle up and see if we could rope a few crime fighting ideas.

Now y’all don’t get no burrs under your saddle, but just ’cause you got your kicking boots on, it don’t mean the bad guys have left town.

Enough of that. In the Old West, they shot guys for being that hokey — at least I think they did.

My friends Candy and Bill decided they would do the rodeo theme. Bill bought a bale of hay and put it in the front yard with a wooden hitching post right behind it.

Candy went out and bought duds for them. She looks stunning. Bill looks like Mongo in “Blazing Saddles.”

One of their neighbors decided it would be a good idea to add a few “cow paddies” during the night for the sake of “authenticity.”

Another found a broken wagon wheel. Every morning, Bill and Candy would wake to find another “treasure” added to the pile.

In the old days, Indians did the scalping. These days, it seems as if everyone is doing it.

Rodeo tickets are hot items. At the Houston Rodeo, tickets to see some of the headliners that originally sold for $25 were being scalped for $600 and George Strait tickets went for thousands.

Season ticket holders, members of the association and volunteers all get first shot at the tickets so you know where the best seats went and where the sales are coming from, according to a KHOU I-Team report.

But buyers beware. If the Rodeo Association finds out, they can cancel the ticket and you are left holding a very expensive bag.

They also have been known to withdraw membership from their organization.

Surprisingly, according to the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, there is no Texas state law that prohibits the reselling — scalping — of tickets.

However, many local ordinances do regulate where you can legally sell them, i.e. within 100 yards of the venue or selling on public property without a permit.

The city of Dickinson doesn’t have any ordinance that addresses this issue. About the only time we might have an issue here would be if a local team went to state and it was a sellout here.

You need to check with your local government to be on the safe side. Reselling tickets is a legitimate business and when done as a business, there is nothing illegal about it.

Remember our infamous Hurricane Ike? There was a rash of “scalping”/price gouging that occurred after it was over.

Once a disaster has been declared by the Governor, 17.40(b) Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act kicks in to protect us.

The Office of the Attorney General has the authority to prosecute any business that engages in this practice.

A difference between the two practices is that “gouging” has a clear definition, i.e. selling or leasing fuel, food …. another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price or demanding an exorbitant or excessive price.

Well podna’ it’s time to saddle up and ride off into the sunset singing “Happy Trails.” Adios.

Remember: Think, prepare and execute crime prevention designs. Don’t be a victim.

Walt Candelari is a police officer with Dickinson Police Department. He is writing a series of columns on creating an environment of safety from burglars.

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