While crime in the city appeared to slow somewhat this week, which was certainly a welcome trend, both patrol officers and criminal investigators were busy arresting suspects in crimes previously committed and reported.
Arrests were affected for a broad range of crimes, including thefts, driving while under the influence (of intoxicants), possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, evading arrest/detention, failure to register as a sex offender, hit-and-run accident, family violence and interference with an emergency telephone call.
The latter two frequently occur as one criminal episode, as one person prevents another person from making an emergency telephone call during domestic or other violence. This can occur by a physical assault or deliberately disabling the communications device, either of which is a serious offense.
Debit card theft and debit card abuse were reported to police this week as separate crimes. Stealing a debit or credit card, stand-alone crimes by themselves, are often exacerbated by using or attempting to use the cards in an illegal transaction. This crime, while occurring frequently in this area, is becoming increasingly difficult to successfully commit because of more elaborate technology in place to detect fraudulent use in both retail and financial establishments.
PIN numbers and video surveillance of most transactions are strong deterrents, but do not completely stop these crimes from occurring. The same could be said for another of this week’s reported crimes — fraudulent use or possession of identifying information. This can be using another person’s ID card or driver’s license for any purpose or for the purpose of identity theft.
A burglary of a residence was also reported. This type of crime is a constant in the Cove, but it seems to be in a downward trend. Increased vigilance, neighborhood watch programs and high-visibility neighborhood police patrols are very effective tools in the effort to decrease such crimes. Both seem to be working in a positive way.
Lastly, a retail establishment reported the forgery of a financial instrument. That is to say, a forged check was passed. Fortunately, this crime occurs infrequently in Cove and does not appear to be trendsetting in either direction.
John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.