Crime in all categories appeared to trend downward the second consecutive week, which is always a reason to celebrate. A crimeless community would indeed be Utopia. Unfortunately, we in Copperas Cove and surrounding communities have not reached that plateau.

Headlining this week’s crimes against property was the burglary of a vehicle, from which numerous items of military and law enforcement property were stolen. These items included a Taser, soft body armor and miscellaneous military police gear. None of these items in the hands of a civilian is a good thing. A Taser, for example, is a device intended to immobilize a living creature by introducing a high-voltage shock. This device in the hands of a criminal has the potential for serious consequences when used in the commission of other crimes.

Add to that, the use of body armor (commonly called a bullet-proof vest) during the commission of a serious crime could protect the criminal and endanger police and innocent civilians.

Police received a report of the theft of dogs from a residence in the northwest area of Cove. This unusual crime can be devastating to the owners of the animals if they, like me, treasure them as members of the family.

Cellphone theft is rapidly becoming an escalating crime. To most of us, a cellphone is not a luxury, but a necessity. It seems that the more technologically advanced the hand-held devices become, the more they become targets for thieves. Most users want the latest and greatest features that manufacturers have to offer, and some people will commit theft to obtain them. As previously stated on multiple occasions, cellphones and other electronic devices left in plain view in a vehicle are prime targets for a thief.

Lastly, an assault with bodily injury was reported to police this week. Assaults with bodily injury reports have shown a consistent upward trend in Copperas Cove in recent months, some involving non-family personal disputes and others involving domestic or family violence. In my law enforcement career, I have seen dozens of family violence cases dropped because one spouse declined to press charges against the aggressor. This can no longer happen.

In family violence where there is sufficient evidence of an assault, one or all parties involved are likely to be arrested, regardless of whether either party desires to file charges. Family violence is a crime against the state, and therefore, the state will file charges.

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

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