Copperas Cove police were busy this week writing reports and investigating crimes in almost all categories.
Vehicle burglaries headed the list, with 10 such crimes reported in the same neighborhood on the same day. It doesn’t take a master sleuth to deduce that these crimes were committed in one huge criminal episode by the same criminal or criminals.
Experience tells me the vehicles in this area of Copperas Cove were targeted by these criminals because of the dynamics of the neighborhood. That is to say that this area of the city is not densely populated, the residences are spaced some distance apart, and the lighting in the area is not as bright as it is in other more densely populated areas of the city.
Light is the enemy of the surreptitious criminal who stalks by night. Unlocked vehicles in this neighborhood facilitated the ease with which the criminals were able to enter and commit these crimes. It is a wonderful thing to live in the “city for family living” and in an area where the neighbors are so trusting that doors to residences and vehicles are left unlocked.
I doubt however, that neighbors committed these crimes. It is my belief that people far removed from the targeted area and possibly not even from Copperas Cove committed these crimes.
While it is true that locks merely keep an honest person honest, unlocked doors are an open invitation to a thief. Vehicle burglaries were also reported in other areas of the city this week, during which electronics and financial instruments were stolen.
These items should never be left in a vehicle, whether in plain sight or tucked away in an unlocked console or glove compartment. These areas of a vehicle are prime targets for a thief.
The crime of fraudulent use of identifying information showed an upward trend this week as well. These crimes can range from using another’s ID card for any illicit purpose to using it with the owner’s permission. We have seen an increase in this type of crime in recent months.
Assaults with bodily injury reports continued an upward trend in recent weeks. Some of these crimes stemmed from domestic disturbances which escalated to family violence. Even one of these crimes is too many in the city fore family living.
Not all the news is bad, however. Copperas Cove police made numerous arrests last week of criminals who perpetrated previously reported crimes, as well as criminals who were caught in the act of committing crimes.
One of these arrests was of a person who had outstanding arrest warrants, and when police made contact with him, quantities of methamphetamine were found in his possession. The second arrest was made after locating methamphetamine in the possession of a driver during a traffic stop.
Topping the list this week was the arrest of a student who is accused of possessing brass knuckles, a prohibited weapon in a school zone. Fortunately, this type of crime is not a frequent one in Cove. Let’s hope it remains that way.
John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.