Property theft incidents continued to spiral upward this week. Cove police are investigating six reported thefts in various areas of the city. Value of property stolen ranged from a low of $2.94 to a high of $9,950. In the latter, furniture was stolen from a residence.
High-dollar furniture thefts appear to be on the rise of late. This is the second such theft in a two-week period. Stealing furniture valued at nearly $10,000 is no small feat. Presumably, a truck of some sort must have been used in the commission of these crimes. I’m concerned that no neighbors witnessed these thefts and no reports were made to police as the thefts occurred.
Other thefts included the theft of a motorcycle, currency, two cellphones, and a package of condoms. We can take heart in knowing the condom thief planned to practice safe sex.
Five residential burglaries and a vehicle burglary were also reported this week. Burglaries of both residences and vehicles have sadly become a constant in the Copperas Cove crime scene.
More serious than property crimes, in my opinion, are crimes against people. Two such crimes were reported to police this week, one of which was a robbery. That is to say that this crime was a theft, but directly from a person or institution made it also a crime against people.
In yet another crime against persons, a Copperas Cove resident was arrested and arraigned for assault with a deadly weapon. The man is accused of threatening to decapitate a people with an axe. Fortunately, this incident concluded without injury or death.
Forgery of a financial instrument was also reported this week. The financial instrument in this case would be a check. This happens in Cove from time to time but not so frequently to be considered a trend.
What is becoming a trend, however, is identity theft. Another incident of this damaging crime occurred this week.
Neighborhood watch programs seem to be waning in popularity in the last few years. When I moved to Cove some 30 years ago, neighborhood watch programs were all the rage. Everyone looked out for one another and nothing out of the ordinary escaped the watchful eye of neighbors. The neighborhood business was everyone’s business, at least in terms of looking out for neighbors’ property and welfare.
While the population of Copperas Cove 30 years ago was half of what it is today, crime was nowhere near half today’s level. We seem to have become less vigilant and less cognizant of our surroundings. Combined with police patrols of neighborhoods, only our personal involvement will help to prevent thefts and other property crimes and nab perpetrators in the act of victimizing us.
On the brighter side, Copperas Cove police arrested 34 subjects for a broad range of crimes, from serious traffic offenses to previously reported crimes against persons to crimes against property and crimes involving controlled substances. Every arrest and conviction is another step toward attaining a crime-free society. While I doubt that we will ever see a truly crime-free society, every positive act in eliminating the incidence of any crime is applauded.
If you have any information about these or any other crimes, contact the Copperas Cove police department.
John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.