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Burglary reports rise this week

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Burglaries of residences and vehicles took an upward turn in Copperas Cove this past week.

These crimes inflict harm beyond the loss of property, in that the victim feels violated at having his or her home surreptitiously entered and personal property rifled through.

Three vehicle burglaries were reported on the same date and in the same area of the city, leading one to surmise that the same criminal) perpetrated these offenses in a single episode.

It is, of course, possible that separate individuals committed these crimes, but in my experience one or more people usually act in concert to commit these crimes in the quest for valuables that could be sold or bartered. To avoid being a victim, keep valuables out of sight inside a vehicle. It removes temptation from a potential thief, and lessens the chances that your vehicle will be burglarized.

Valuables such as expensive sunglasses and electronic equipment should never be left inside a vehicle in plain sight.

Two burglaries of a building were reported to police in the past week. In one incident, a golf bag, golf clubs and a range finder were stolen. While there is a market for sports equipment, it is difficult to pawn or sell golf equipment, which usually has distinguishing numbers or markings unique to the owner.

I believe the burglar targeted the items for a specific purpose. Securing garage doors with a sturdy lock deters this type of criminal activity.

A theft of service was also reported to police this week. Theft of service can range from walking out of a restaurant without paying for meals and driving off without paying for gas to stealing utility and communication services. We see this type of crime frequently in this area.

Thefts and two residential burglaries rounded out the offenses reported to police this week.

Residential vehicle burglaries are usually crimes of opportunity. Sometimes, these burglaries are targeted because of aesthetics.

An expensive home, with lavish appointments, is a magnet for criminals looking for an easy score. They believe the residence would have items that are easily sold or pawned.

Once again, securing locks and keeping valuables out of sight are an integral part of a good defense. Alarms and an effective neighborhood watch program are the keys to protecting one’s property.

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

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