Cove experiences an average of four reported crimes each day, or 28 crimes per week. These are “reported” crimes. In my experience, there are about 50 percent more crimes that go unreported for a variety of reasons.

When it comes to property crimes, many go unreported because they are undiscovered. A criminal who leaves no overt signs of forced entry or readily apparent losses may well get away with the crime until some item is missed.

Others go unreported because the victim doesn’t want to be involved in a criminal investigation or doesn’t consider the stolen item to be of sufficient value to warrant a report.

As pertains to crimes against persons such as simple assault or a mutual affray, victims often opt to forgo a police report to remain anonymous or comfort their ego.

In the case of family violence, an inordinate number of incidents go unreported because of the stigma attached to domestic violence and those who perpetrate the crime. Some victims don’t want others to know because they feel ashamed of the battering spouse.

In others, particularly when the victim is a dependent wife, domestic violence goes unreported because the victim is financially dependent on the batterer and sees no way out. This is the worst case.

In drug-related crime, much of it goes unreported because it is a criminal act usually committed in secret and out of the view of the general public.

Undercover police are dedicated to uncover crimes in this category and are often successful, albeit far from being successful often enough.

What we read about on a nearly daily basis are the arrests made by patrol officers of the possessors of small amounts of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia during routine traffic stops.

While each one of these arrests is a step forward, it is not enough. This category of crime has been blight on Coryell County for as long as I can remember, particularly in the manufacture, sales and use of methamphetamine.

Meth, as it is commonly known, is a popular controlled substance in this area — largely because of the ease with which ingredients and components can be obtained locally and the ease with which it can be manufactured or “cooked.”

It doesn’t take a genius to manufacture meth. In fact, most “cookers” are so far from the genius level that they bump against the opposite end of the intelligence spectrum.

That’s right, I said it. Those of you who create this poison and a ready supply for the demand are dopes. You may enrich yourselves in the short term, but in the long term you will eventually pay a heavy price — both in legal ramifications and in your overall health.

My education in physiology and my years in the polygraph field, together with having dealt first-hand with abusers of methamphetamine in the law enforcement arena, have given me an insight into this disastrous drug.

Primarily, methamphetamine gradually increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, leading to very high levels of that necessary chemical. So much so that the body stops making it in its natural form.

Abuse can cause the death of dopamine neurons, which has been linked as a cause of Parkinson’s disease. Jerking motions and a set of rotten teeth (eroded enamel) are a dead giveaway that a person is a meth freak, absent other biological maladies, which may produce the same symptoms.

Dopamine as a neurotransmitter is necessary in the basil ganglia motor group in the brain to control movements, keeping them fluid and unjerking. Dopamine also controls the flow of other information from other areas of the brain, which affects cognizance and memory.

When a person slows abuse or quits meth abuse or consumes a sufficient amount as to kill dopamine neurons, the body no longer makes dopamine. The result can be catastrophic. The preventive antidote? Don’t start. It’s not called “dope” for nothing.

Theft/burglary

Eleven thefts/burglaries were reported this week, keeping pace with previous weeks leading up to the holidays.

  • A theft of currency was reported Jan. 3 in the 600 block of Sunset Lane.
  • The theft of a laptop computer was reported Jan. 4 in the 1100 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of headphones was reported Jan. 4 in the 200 block of Cove Terrace.
  • The theft of electronics from a vehicle was reported Jan. 5 in the 2200 block of Mattie Circle.
  • A bicycle was reported stolen Jan. 6 in the 800 block of Washington Avenue.
  • A paint sprayer was reported stolen Jan. 6 in the 1100 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of currency from a residence was reported Jan. 6 in the 1000 block of South 21st Street.
  • A cellphone was reported stolen Jan. 7 from a retailer in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A purse and contents were reported stolen Jan. 7 in the 300 block of Carpenter Street.
  • A theft of a trashcan valued at $65 was reported Jan. 8 in the 1800 block of Dennis Street. This is the second trashcan theft in two weeks.
  • A burglary of a habitation and damage to a garage door estimated at $200 was reported Jan. 8 in the 1100 block of Randa Street.

Assaults

Seven assaults were reported this week, five of them family violence related with injuries. When will this disturbing trend stop?

  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Jan. 3 in the 200 block of Gibson Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 4 in the 400 block of Veterans Avenue.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 5 in the 500 block of Sunset Lane.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Jan. 6 in the 400 block of North Main Street.
  • An assault by contact was reported Jan. 8 in the 1200 block of Courtney Lane.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Jan. 9 in the 600 block of Westview Lane.
  • Disorderly conduct/public affray was reported Jan. 8 in the 700 block of North Second Street

Other crimes

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported Jan. 3 in the 300 block of Gibson Lane.
  • Possession of a controlled substance was reported Jan. 3 in the 1900 block of Bailey Road.
  • Possession of a controlled substance was reported Jan. 7. An arrest was made.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 3 in the 1900 block of Bailey Road.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 3 in the 500 block of Primrose Drive.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Jan. 7 in the 100 block of East Avenue A.
  • Forgery of a government document was reported Jan. 3 in the 2000 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Forgery of a government document/money was reported Jan. 4 in the 200 block of Laura Street.
  • Forgery of a government document/money/security was reported Jan. 5 in the 1100 block of Farm-to-Market 116.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 5 in the 300 block of Judy Lane.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 7 in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 8 in the 500 block of Creek Street.
  • Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported Jan. 8 in the 900 block of Valley Drive.
  • Credit card abuse was reported Jan. 5.
  • Debit card abuse was reported Jan. 7.
  • Interference with child custody was reported Jan. 7 in the 1000 block of Jackie Jo Lane.
  • Harassment by phone was reported Jan. 9 in the 800 block of North First Street.

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

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