Nine theft reports were taken by Copperas Cove police this week, indicating a climb in property crime in recent weeks.
Items stolen are sometimes arbitrary or miscellaneous items that a thief might encounter during a random search for items of value, but some are specifically targeted by thieves because of their value and ease of disposal. That is to say, the act of converting contraband to cash.
Several such crimes were reported in which precious metals such as copper tubing and copper wire were stolen. These items can be easily sold for cash through numerous outlets, and while some dealers in scrap metals require proper identification by the seller, my experience has taught me there are those who do not.
When I see a commercial or residential construction site where copper plumbing and wiring has been installed and it’s relatively unattended, my inner cop wants to set up surveillance to catch the perpetrators of what I believe will be an imminent theft.
Stolen currency, electronics and personal items completed the reported thefts. Once again, a reminder: There are those out there whose mission it is to separate you from your hard-earned money and possessions with the least possible effort. Safeguard what is yours.
We see reports of assaults in the city from time to time, but not so frequently as to support an alarming trend. Disagreements, although by no means acceptable, sometimes become physical altercations. This week, two such crimes were reported to police. Both assaults resulted in bodily injury.
Two reports of possession of controlled substances also were reported. This number reflects the status quo for this type of crime in this part of Central Texas.
One crime of arson and one forgery of a government document rounded out the list of reported crimes this week. In my opinion, and from a law enforcement standpoint, it was a relatively smooth policing week. That being said, may I add that in a civil society, one crime is too much crime.
When space permits, I think it is helpful to highlight one or more of the 600 new Texas laws enacted Sept. 1 that might affect us in our daily lives.
Cellphone usage in school zones: Whether driving through a school zone, or on school property, motorists may no longer use cellphones on school property. Signs in Copperas Cove proclaiming the ban were posted in all school zones and they are enforceable.
Passing school buses loading or unloading: Fines for illegally passing school buses when the lights and stop signs are activated increased from the previous $100 to $1,000 to the current $500 to $1,250 range. Exercise care in school zones and wherever school buses and children are present.
John Vander-Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.