Stealing rocks is a crime, Kountze police chief warns

Kountze Police Chief James Slaughter says it would be monstrous to steal rocks.

Local neighborhood hide-and-seek painted rock groups continue to blossom around Southeast Texas, but Kountze Police Chief James Slaughter warns rock hunters not to steal landscaping rocks from local businesses.

"When you are searching for rocks to paint, please be aware that you do not need to go onto the property of local businesses and take your rocks without the owners' consent," Slaughter said in a statement. "These rocks are for landscaping purposes. You could face criminal charges and be given a criminal trespass warning."

Slaughter said that he knows the activity is "all done in fun" but asks that the rock hunters respect others' property. He also reminded citizens that local businesses often have live video surveillance.

"I'm sure you do not want you and your children's faces on video posted and hav[e] to explain yourself to law enforcement," he added. Anyone with questions can contact Kountze Police.

The Kountze Rock Hunt group currently has over 1,400 members, and the Silsbee group has over 7,300. Vidor Rocks started in August 2016, as previously reported by The Examiner, and now has 5,700 members.

Beaumont Rocks is still growing at nearly 800 members. Group admins said that not stealing rocks "should go without saying” and has been part of Beaumont Rocks' rules from the beginning.