A brazen thief stands accused of victimizing the Cove Wal-Mart twice this week, stealing automotive and electronic items valued at less than $1,500.

This less-than-stellar feller has a history of theft with two previous convictions in another jurisdiction in Texas.

This type of offender is a perfect example of recidivism (repeat offending) occurring despite past judicial punishment. This offender is unrepentant and apt to continue future thefts until he commits an offense sufficiently severe enough to earn himself a stiff prison sentence.

A habitual thief like this one is a black eye on our community and is in itself a one-man crime trend. We can only hope the judiciary takes into account his track record when meting out an appropriate sentence if he is convicted.

Aggravated assaults and assaults in general are occurring far too frequently in Copperas Cove. It is infrequent, however, that a woman is arraigned on such a charge. This week, a woman stands accused of aggravated assault on another woman, with a brick being the aggravating element of the crime.

I am constantly amazed at man’s inhumanity toward man in crimes like this. This assault could have easily morphed into tragedy had that brick hit the wrong spot on the victim’s head. Fortunately the victim’s injuries were not severe and the assailant was arrested.

A second assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, was reported in the northwest part of the city Sunday. This is an upward trend that needs to reverse downward in this, the city designed for family living.

Jewelry was stolen in two separate thefts this week. In one of the thefts, a wedding ring set was stolen. Jewelry, being easily disposed of, is always a target of a thief looking to transform the items into cash. It is unlikely the thief will gad about town wearing the stolen booty. No. I believe he or she will seek to sell or pawn the items in another, larger city. Hopefully, the items have been photographed or marked in a unique manner that will aid in identification should the articles be recovered.

Other thefts included items from vehicles. In one, a radio was stolen and in another, both license plates were taken.

Stolen license plates foretell a more serious crime in the future. Of course, it may be the thief cannot legally obtain license plates for his or her car and may attempt to use the stolen ones to operate his or her vehicle. This, of course, is pure folly, as the stolen plates were entered into a state data base and will be revealed as stolen the first time they are identified for any reason.

The second, more ominous use of the stolen license plates, could be used to misidentify a vehicle being used in a more serious crime.

Two burglaries of both a residence and a building also occurred in Cove this week, along with one offense of criminal mischief.

Topping off the list of crimes this week was a more serious theft, that of robbery, the second such crime of late. Two men robbed a man of his wallet and an electronic cigarette.

During the robbery, the perpetrators assaulted the victim, causing him to suffer a lacerated lip, scratches and an injured nose. The perpetrators have been identified. Hopefully arrests will ensue.

Copperas Cove police arrested 22 individuals for a myriad of offenses this week, four of which were for controlled substance violations.

As possession and distribution of controlled substances are both upward-trending crimes in Cove, we should all applaud each time and arrest is made for these crimes.

If you have any information pertaining to these or any other crimes, you are urged to contact the appropriate authorities.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement with over a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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