DFW businesses accused of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey’s gas run

More than two dozen local businesses have been accused of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sent violation notices to 127 Texas businesses — including at least 28 in Tarrant County — notifying them about customer complaints for charging $3.99 or more for a gallon of unleaded gasoline or diesel during the storm that pounded the Coastal Bend and Houston area.

“At the outset of Harvey, I made it clear that my office would not tolerate price gouging of vulnerable Texans by any individuals or businesses looking to profit from the hurricane,” Paxton said in a statement. “We’ve given 127 alleged offenders an opportunity to resolve these issues with our office or face possible legal action for violating state law.

“Our investigation of other businesses into price gouging remains ongoing.”

This comes nearly two months after Paxton sued three Texas companies — Bains Brothers, that owns an Arlington Texaco station, as well as a Robstown-area hotel near Corpus Christi and a Laredo-area Chevron station — for price gouging.

Here’s a look at the latest Tarrant County businesses put on notice by the AG’s office, according to a list obtained by the Star-Telegram after filing a public information request:

Arlington: Hans Chevron on East Arkansas Lane in Arlington; Metro Food Mart on South Cooper Street.

Fort Worth: 1st Choice Food Mart on Jacksboro Highway; 3D Food Mart on E. Long Avenue; Ark Grocery on West Seminary Drive; Atwood Distributing LP on Lake Worth Boulevard; Breaktime on White Settlement Road; Cash and Carry on Woodhaven Boulevard; Chela’s Shell on NW Loop 820; Conoco Mart on East Loop 820; Dairy Mart on James Avenue; Delisias on East Seminary Drive; East Food Mart on Sandy Lane; Easy Food Mart on Brentwood Stair Road; Everman Shell on the South Freeway; Grab N Go on Jacksboro Highway; Keller Food and Beverage on Rufe Snow Drive; Meadlin Service Center Inc. on Camp Bowie Boulevard; Meadowbrook Texaco on Meadowbrook Drive; Nablus #1 Inc on East Berry Stret; One World Grocery on East First Street; Quick Way Food Store on Granbury Road.

Other local cities: South Kwik Stop on FM 730 South in Azle; Do It Shell on SW Wilshire in Burleson; Handy Shop on SW Third Street in Grand Prairie; Mr. C Food Store on East Ector Drive in Euless; PDK Food Store on Denton Highway in Haltom City; and Pit Stop on Mid Cities Boulevard in North Richland Hills.

State law prevents companies from “charging exorbitant prices” for necessities during a disaster. The penalty for price gouging can be as much as $20,000 per violation — and as much as $250,000 if the victim is 65 or older.

Anyone who believes they were scammed or price gouged in Texas should call the state’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508, email consumeremergency@oag.texas.gov, or file a complaint online at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/file-a-consumer-complaint.

Second Amendment

Gun rights advocates will be holding a 2A Capitol Rally Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Texas Capitol.

“We will be there in support of all those that want to show that the Second Amendment is there for everyone and shouldn’t be treated as a partisan issue,” according to a statement about the rally hosted by Lone Star Gun Rights and YouTuber, NeverEnuffAmmo.

“We will be looking to have open and honest conversations about the importance of the Second Amendment and to rally our voices to say ‘Shall not be infringed’ means something while making it clear that gun violence is something that we stand firmly against.”

The rally is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Sunday on the north side of the Texas Capitol.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley