Obviously, a homicide in sleepy little Copperas Cove is the week’s top story. Unlike jurisdictions to our east, such crimes in Cove are infrequent, the last one occurring a year ago during a domestic violence incident.

This homicide in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Oct. 28 was not the result of home-grown violence but was exported by Killeen residents, who perhaps in an effort to avoid the scrutiny of Killeen police, opted to conduct an illegal drug transaction in Cove. It is highly likely those involved were on the radar of Killeen Police Department’s narcotics task force in the past.

This incident, however, takes the intended drug transaction, whether misdemeanor or felony amounts, to a whole new level. Murder, regardless of the circumstances, is a crime in a separate stratosphere. The remedies available to the judiciary on conviction are of sufficient severity as to include the death penalty when the crime is committed in concert with certain other crimes and/or against certain individuals.

But let’s take a look at the catalyst for this crime in particular and the majority of crimes in general. Dope! Illicit drugs, including the sale, purchase and use of the poison, are the basis for the commission of the vast majority of property crimes and crimes against persons in almost every jurisdiction.

Criminals rob, steal, burglarize and assault to obtain money and other valuables, which can be easily transformed to cash for use in the purchase of drugs. The only exception to this general rule is the low-life, scum-of-the-earth purveyors of this garbage. They usually allow others to do their dirty work while they reap the monetary rewards. These are the felons upon whom the radar of law enforcement should be focused.

Until we rid our communities of the manufacturers, dealers and users of illegal drugs, crime in all categories will continue to fester.

Because the drug trade is based on the premise of supply and demand, we must apply equal effort toward addiction rehabilitation and the apprehension of the dealers. This effort must continue at full speed at all tiers of government from municipal to federal level.

Homicides are not restricted to events, which include drugs, although many occur in that venue. The majority of homicides I’ve investigated occur in the heat of passion during domestic violence. We have enough domestic violence crimes in Copperas Cove to be worrisome in that regard.

Assaults

Thirteen assaults were reported in the week ending Nov. 3. Of these, nine included family violence. This number is not only appalling but also totally unacceptable. I am gladdened but surprised family violence in Cove hasn’t escalated to more fatal encounters. It will escalate if some family members don’t get a handle on their emotions.

  • An assault with bodily injury was reported Oct. 26 in the 500 block of Clara Drive.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Oct. 27 in the 200 block of South Seventh Street.
  • Another assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Oct. 28 in the 200 block of South Seventh Street.
  • An aggravated assault with a deadly weapon/family violence was reported Oct. 28 at the intersection of Cedar Grove and Oak Ridge Drives.
  • An assault by contact was reported Oct. 28 in the 800 block of East Avenue D.
  • An assault with bodily injury was reported Oct. 28 in the 2800 block of Oak Hill Street.
  • An aggravated assault with bodily injury/family violence and criminal trespass were reported Oct. 29 in the 1300 block of West Avenue D.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Oct. 29 in the 400 block of North Second Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Oct. 29 in the 500 block of Sunset Lane.
  • An assault by contact was reported Oct. 29 in the 700 block of Sunny Avenue.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Oct. 30 in the 1400 block of High Chaparral Drive.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence and criminal trespassing was reported Oct. 30 in the 1300 block of West Avenue D.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Nov. 1 in the 2400 block of Jake Drive.

Thefts

Seven thefts were reported this week. This number, while still too high, is showing a welcome downward trend from recent months.

  • The theft of a 2002 Kia Rio was reported Oct. 30 in the 2000 block of Wanda Street.
  • The theft of a cellphone was reported Oct. 28 on Locust Drive.
  • The theft of currency was reported Oct. 28 in the 400 block of South 25th Street.
  • The theft of an air conditioning unit and furnace from a building was reported Oct. 28 in the 400 block of Allen Street.
  • The theft of groceries was reported Oct. 29 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A theft of currency and jewelry from a vehicle was reported Oct. 28 in the 2100 block of Ryan Drive. Someone forgot the rule of take it-hide it-lock it.
  • The theft of a firearm, laptop computer and hunting gear was reported Oct. 29 in the 1200 block of Urbantke Court. The firearm theft is a felony regardless of the value of the weapon or circumstances of theft.

Other crimes

Forgeries of financial documents are on an upswing this week. Four of these crimes were reported.

  • A forgery of a money order was reported Oct. 29 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The forgery of a financial instrument was reported Oct. 26 in the 1300 block of Bowen Avenue.
  • Forgery of a money order was reported Oct. 26 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Forgery of a money order was reported Oct. 26 in the 3000 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Oct. 26 in the 100 block of Lorna Circle.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information and the theft of $4,000 were reported Oct. 30 in the 2000 block of Patricia Street.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Oct. 26 in the 500 block of Bermuda Street.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Oct. 28 in the 800 block of Shady Lane.
  • Graffiti was reported Oct. 28 in the 1200 block of West Avenue B.
  • Possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia were reported Oct. 28 in the 500 block of Alfred Drive. An arrest was made. One small positive step for the good citizens of Copperas Cove and another lick for Cove cops.
  • On Oct. 28, the Bell County grand jury indicted Justin Uriah Seeger, 39, of Copperas Cove, on a charge of tampering with physical evidence.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

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

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