Cove police are asking the public’s help in identifying a woman involved in the theft of a wallet from a shopping cart May 21 in the parking lot of H-E-B. located at 2990 E. Business U.S. Highway 190 in Copperas Cove.

According to a Copperas Cove Police Department news release, following the theft, the suspect left the area in a silver pickup.

The suspect is described at a heavy-set female, about 35 years of age. At the time of the theft, the suspect was wearing a lilac-colored sleeveless top, black pants and white sneakers.

The suspect can be easily identified by someone who knows her from a surveillance camera photograph.

Anyone having information about this case or who knows the identity of the suspect is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 254-547-1111 or online at www.tipsubmit.com.

Crime Stoppers pays cash for clues. If a tip leads to an arrest and prosecution, Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 and the caller may remain anonymous.

Thefts from shopping carts and vehicles at shopping venues have become increasingly frequent in Central Texas.

With the onset of warmer weather, people are more likely to leave vehicle windows open while they shop, frequently leaving valuables in plain view where a thief of any expertise can easily relieve you of your property. Even an opportunist, who is not a common thief, would be tempted by such carelessness.

Leaving vehicle windows open while the vehicle is unattended is essentially leaving the vehicle unlocked, even if the window is only slightly open. Any thief worth his or her salt can easily unlock a door though the slightest crack.

Over 75 percent of reported vehicle burglaries targeted unlocked vehicles last year. Some of these vehicles were stolen, simply because the owner left the keys in the ignition. For these careless dolts, I have no sympathy. Additionally, many insurance companies are reluctant to pay claims when the loss was the result of such carelessness. At the very least, premium rates will rise if the policy remains in force.

Thefts from shopping carts both inside and outside stores are preventable.

Everyone should be aware that thieves are everywhere shoppers are. This thieving pond scum spends their sober and waking hours seeking out potential victims.

A few preventive measures can lessen a person’s chances of being victimized by a lurking thief while shopping or attending public social functions. Here are a few common sense acts of prevention:

Never leave a wallet or purse unattended for any length of time. It takes a thief mere seconds to grab and go.

While shopping, never leave a handbag or wallet in a shopping cart. During the time your attention is diverted by scanning shelves or reaching for merchandise, a thief can easily snatch it and quickly depart the area.

Shop with a wallet tucked into a pocket, rather than carry a handbag with valuables you do not intend to use. Secure the handbag at home or in the trunk of your car.

Carry only the credit cards you intend to use. In the event your purse or wallet is stolen, you will only have that card to address and replace. If the card is stolen, notify your credit card company immediately. Doing so will limit your liability and deny the thief the proceeds of his disgusting act.

When loading your purchases into your vehicle, secure your purse or wallet before unloading groceries or merchandise from your shopping cart.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Whether inside the store or in the parking lot, people loitering in the area may be seeking a potential victim. Thieves often work together. One thief may distract the victim while the other steals the targeted valuables. If you feel threatened, return to the store and request an escort to your vehicle.

Common sense and care will reduce your chances of being victimized by a thief.

Assault

Ten assaults were reported this week. Two of these were despicable sexual assaults. Six involved family violence. The perpetrators of all of these assaults should look in a mirror and see what disgusting vermin they are.

An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported June 6 in the 500 block of Red Oak Drive.

A sexual assault was reported June 6. Location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim.

An assault by contact was reported June 7 in the 500 block of Mary Street.

An assault by threat was reported June 8 in the 400 block of North Main Street.

An assault by contact/family violence was reported June 8 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported June 12 in the 200 block of Manning Drive.

A sexual assault was reported June 12. Location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim.

An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported June 12 in the 700 block of Michelle Drive.

An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported June 12 in the 600 block of North Main Street.

An assault by contact/family violence was reported June 12 in the 200 block of Gibson Street.

Theft/burglary

Fifteen thefts were reported to police this week. Some of these could have been prevented by observing the Take-it, Hide-it, Lock-it philosophy.

The theft of headphones, a phone charger, clothing and electronics was reported June 6 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

An attempted burglary of a vehicle was reported June 7 in the 3000 block of Colorado Drive.

The theft of a cellphone and a credit card reader was reported June 7 in the 1500 block of West Business U.S. Highway 190.

A theft of a cellphone was reported June 7 in the 400 block of South 25th Street.

The theft of jewelry, electronics, currency and a satchel was reported June 8 in the 900 block of Whirlaway Drive.

The theft of a plasma cutter was reported June 8 in the 1400 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

The theft of currency from a vehicle was reported June 12 in the 800 block of Craddock Street.

The theft of a cellphone from a vehicle was reported June 12 in the 800 block of Kim Avenue.

The theft of a cellphone was reported June 12 in the 400 block of East Avenue B.

The theft of hygiene products and a wallet was reported at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

The theft of a bow and a vacuum cleaner was reported June 12 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

The theft of a driver’s license, currency and credit cards was reported June 12 in the 300 block of Creek Street.

The theft of a cellphone was reported June 12 in the 1200 block of West Avenue B.

The unauthorized use of a motor vehicle was reported June 12 in the 4200 block of primrose Drive.

A theft of clothing and DVDs was reported June 12 in the 600 block of Mary Street.

Other crimes

Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported June 6 in the 1300 block of Georgetown Road. An arrest was made.

Interference with child custody was reported June 6 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported June 6 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported June 7 in the 200 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190. An arrest was made.

Evading arrest/detention using a vehicle was reported June 7 in the 300 block of Robertson Avenue. An arrest was made.

Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported June 7 in the 400 block of Del Mar Circle.

Graffiti was reported June 8 in the 800 block of North First Street.

Criminal mischief was reported June 8 in the 400 block of South 25th Street.

Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported June 12 in the 400 block of Hogan Drive.

Abandoning/endangering a child, criminal neglect was reported June 12 in the 400 block of Summers Road.

Harassment was reported June 12 in the 400 block of Rainbow Court.

Unlawful carrying of a weapon and criminal mischief were reported June 12 in the 300 block of North Main Street. An arrest was made.

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.

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