Apparently, not all Covites read this column and it’s equally apparent that some who read it don’t heed it.

I’m referring, of course, to the recurrence of preventable crimes previously addressed. Those crimes that continue to find victims, regardless of the attention they garner in the press. One such crime is purse snatching from shopping carts in our major merchandise and food stores. There have been multiple incidents of this crime in recent times.

One of these was reported Oct. 16 in the parking lot of Wal-Mart after a man grabbed a woman’s handbag out of her shopping cart and ran. Copperas Cove police are asking the public’s help in identifying the suspect in this case. An excellent surveillance camera photograph of the alleged thief was printed in the Oct. 24 edition of the Killeen Daily Herald in the Our Texas section. This photograph is sufficiently clear so anyone who has ever seen this man can readily identify him.

Anyone who knows the identity of this man and who possesses a modicum of decency and a desire to live in a crime-free society should certainly do so. Withholding information makes the possessor as guilty as the perpetrator and of the same moral turpitude. This community has no tolerance for either.

The suspect is a black male, about 6 feet tall, weighing about 185 pounds. He is free of facial hair. In the photograph captured on the day of the crime, the suspect was wearing dark pants and a faded brown or maroon T-shirt with a large white design on the front. Tips can be made anonymously to the Copperas Cove Crime Stoppers tip line at 254-547-1111 or online at www.tipsubmit.com.

The choice is yours. You are free to be victimized by those who prey on the decent, hard-working residents of this community or you can fight back by observing a few simple crime prevention strategies. Any tips that reduce or prevent crime are worth doing.

Ladies, plan your shopping experience. Take only the currency or credit/debit card you intend to use. If you must carry a handbag, choose one with a short strap that keeps the bag close to your body. A “fannie pack” secured around the waist is a far better option with regard to thwarting theft.

Never, never, never place your handbag in your shopping basket while shopping or in the parking lot as you go to unload your vehicle.

And, for heaven’s sake people, never leave your handbag, purse or wallet inside your vehicle in plain view. How many of these thefts have we seen in recent months? Far too many.

Thefts/burglaries

Last week there were 17 thefts and burglaries. This week there were 17 reported thefts and burglaries. This is not a good trend.

What is truly worrisome is that as the holidays draw closer, this category of crime will continue to rise. We can all stymie this historical trend by observing the take-it, hide-it, lock-it rule. Let’s make these thieving, low-life amoeba work hard for their booty. Better yet, catch these worms and let the courts take appropriate action.

  • A burglary of a residence was reported Oct. 18 in the 700 block of Mickan Street.
  • A burglary of a building was reported Oct. 19 in the 200 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • An attempted burglary of a building was reported Oct. 19 in the 300 block of South First Street.
  • Another attempted burglary of a building, graffiti and evading arrest or detention were reported Oct. 20 in the 300 block of South First Street.
  • A burglary of a residence was reported Oct. 18 in the 700 block of Casa Drive.
  • A bicycle was reported stolen Oct. 18 in the 700 block of Shady Lane.
  • The theft of jewelry and electronics from a residence was reported Oct. 19 in the 600 block of Traci Drive.
  • The theft of currency was reported Oct. 19 in the 400 block of Citation Circle.
  • Currency was reported stolen Oct. 19 in the 500 block of North 23rd Street.
  • Tools, a wallet and cigarettes were reported stolen from a vehicle Oct. 19 in the 2700 block of Veterans Avenue.
  • The theft of currency from a vehicle was reported Oct. 19 in the 2400 block of Jake Drive.
  • The theft of food from a retailer was reported Oct. 22 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Another theft of food was reported Oct. 22 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A third report of the theft of food from a retailer was made Oct. 22 in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • A charger was reported stolen Oct. 22 from a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • The theft of a power washer was reported Oct. 25 in the 1400 block of Georgetown Road,
  • Jewelry was reported stolen Oct. 25 in the 700 block of Shady Lane.

Assaults

Five assaults were reported this week. Three of these were assaults involving family members.

  • The worst of the worse in the crime category was the sexual assault of a child, reported Oct. 22. The location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim. This heinous crime makes another reservation in Hades for the perpetrator. Pending that, we have vacancies in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Oct. 18 in the 1200 block of North Seventh Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury/family violence was reported Oct. 18 in the 200 block of Erby Avenue.
  • An assault by contact/family violence was reported Oct. 19 in the 300 block of Allen Street.
  • An assault with bodily injury was reported Oct. 20 in the 1200 block of Courtney Lane.

Other crimes

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported Oct. 28 in the 200 block of North Seventh Street.
  • Reckless damage was reported Oct. 19 in the 300 block of South Main Street.
  • Evading arrest or detention was reported Oct. 19 in the 100 block of Manning Drive. An arrest was made.
  • Indecent exposure was reported Oct. 19. Location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim.
  • Criminal mischief was reported Oct. 19 in the 1000 block of West Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Criminal mischief with $600 in damage to tires was reported Oct. 23 in the 1200 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.
  • Violation of a protective order was reported Oct. 20 in the 700 block of First Street. The violator will not be happy to see the judge who issued this protective order.
  • An attempted kidnapping was reported Oct. 22 in the 900 block of Park Avenue.
  • Forgery of a financial instrument was reported Oct. 23 in the 600 block of South First Street.

Tip of the week

While Craig’s List and other consumer trade sites are a boon in the effort to buy and sell personal items, there are inherent dangers in using them. Numerous incidents of theft and assault were reported in Central Texas during these transactions.

A few simple precautions can prevent fraud, theft and assault during meetings with buyers/sellers.

If possible, when selling an easily handled item, complete the transaction in a public place and in the company of friends or family members.

When selling larger items at a residence, have other people present during the transaction.

If in doubt of the character or veracity of a buyer or seller, cancel the transaction. Better safe than sorry.

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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