Thieves degrade the quality of life in any venue they occupy.

In addition to that, thieves breath the same air as good, honest, hardworking citizens, and to me, that just isn’t right.

Prison air is more suitable for them. We should be working as a community, hand-in-hand with law enforcement and the courts, to ensure that scum of the earth thieves experience the taste, smell and feel of prison air.

Prior to my 30-plus years in law enforcement, I spent a 22 years in the military, a few years of which were spent in the barracks environment. From that experience, I can assure you that a soldier would rather live with a murderer than a barracks thief.

It’s not just the thefts committed by these vermin that plague us, but the other crimes that inevitably co-exist with thieves. The manufacture, sales and use of illicit drugs, prostitution, alcohol abuse and violence in all categories nearly always fester where thefts are allowed to ply their disgusting trade.

For example, a career house or business burglar may direct some of the proceeds of his or her thefts to food, clothing or other necessities, but more often than not, those proceeds are directed toward the acquisition of illegal drugs. Burglaries and other thefts are perpetrated to support an expensive drug habit. In this respect, if you solve the drug problem, the theft problem will likewise ebb.

Thieves come in all sizes, shapes and maturity. I believe there is a little larceny in most of us, but mature, generally honest people resist any temptation to relocate property that does not belong to them.

It is the lazy, shiftless, usually uneducated neer-do-well who resorts to thievery as a way to support a trashy existence. I hold these low-life subspecies in extremely low regard, just one step beneath the family abuser.

Thefts from vehicles (burglary) is probably the most common complaint received by law enforcement. We have certainly seen our share of crime in this category of theft in Cove. It is conservatively estimated that this category of theft comprises about 36 percent of thefts in our jurisdiction.

Second to vehicle burglaries, building burglaries take center stage. Tools are the target in these thefts. Not a week passes without the report of stolen tools being reported.

Two categories of theft should be of major concern to all of us. Those are the thefts of firearms and vehicles.

No thief is going to steal a car and park it in his driveway as though it was his own. No. He or she will immediately use it in the commission of another more serious crime where the perpetrators cannot be identified through the vehicle, such as robbery or a drive-by shooting. Immediately afterward, the vehicle will be abandoned or burned.

Stolen firearms, especially handguns, will inevitably be used in the commission of a violent crime, either by the thief or the person to whom he sells the weapon. In either case, the result will likely be devastating.

Thefts/burglaries

The statistics are worse every week. In the past seven-day period, 22 thefts/burglaries have been reported to police. Many more went unreported for myriad reasons, I’m sure.

Coinage, an ashtray and keys were reported stolen from a vehicle April 18 in the 800 block of Williams Street. In my world, this is burglary of a vehicle.

An attempted burglary of a vehicle was reported April 18 in the 800 block of Williams Street. It appears one or more individuals targeted multiple vehicles in this neighborhood.

The theft of a motor mount from a vehicle was reported April 18 in the 1200 block of Joe Morse Drive.

A theft of currency was reported April 18 in the 500 block of Bowen Avenue.

A theft of shoes was reported April 18 in the 900 block of Traci Drive.

A theft of currency was reported April 19 in the 400 block of South 25th Street.

A burglary of a residence was reported April 19 in the 1000 block of North Fourth Street.

An attempted burglary of a residence was reported April 19 in the 500 block of Westview Lane.

The theft of lumber from a building was reported April 20 in the 1200 block of Hogg Court.

The theft of headphones was reported April 20 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

The theft of gasoline was reported April 20 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

A theft of service was reported April 20 in the 100 block of Cove Terrace.

The theft of groceries and general merchandise was reported April 20 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

The theft of a DVD player was reported April 21 at a retailer in the 2900 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

A theft of a garage door opener, jewelry and medication was reported April 21 in the 900 block of Joe Morse Drive.

The theft of office supplies and clothing was reported April 21 at a retailer in the 2700 block of East Business U.S. Highway 190.

The theft of food was reported April 22 in the 700 block of Sunny Avenue.

Burglary of a habitation was reported April 22 in the 600 block of Sunset Lane. A game system was reported stolen.

A burglary of a building was reported April 22 in the 1500 block of Walker place Boulevard. A pressure washer valued at $249 was reported stolen.

A burglary of a vehicle was reported April 23 in the 3500 block of Jacob Street.

The theft of a vehicle was reported April 23 in the 600 block of Westview Circle.

A theft was reported April 23 in thee 300 block of Town Square.

Assaults

Eight assaults were reported this week. Of these, three involved family violence, one was a disgusting sexual assault and one indecency with a child.

An assault by contact/family violence was reported April 17 in the 900 block of Davie Lee Drive.

An assault with bodily injury/family violence and criminal mischief was reported April 18 in the 1000 block of Dryden Avenue.

A sexual assault was reported April 19. Location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim.

An assault by contact/family violence was reported April 19 in the 1200 block of South 15th Street.

Indecency with a child–sexual contact was reported April 20. Location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim.

An assault with bodily injury was reported April 20 in the 1100 block of Golf Course Road.

Injury to a child/bodily injury was reported April 20. location is omitted to protect the identity of the victim.

An assault by contact/family violence was reported April 23 at the intersection of Courtney Lane and Fairbanks Lane.

Other crimes

Cruelty to nonlivestock animals/torture was reported April 19 in the 200 block of North Drive. This is the second such crime against animals in as many weeks.

Public lewdness was reported April 18.

Violation of a protective order was reported April 18 in the 100 block of West Hogan Drive. The issuing judge will want to speak with this violator.

Possession of a prohibited weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces were reported April 18 in the 1500 block of Mattie Drive. An arrest was made.

Illegal dumping was reported April 18 in the 7000 block of West Avenue B.

Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported April 19 in the 100 block of Lariat Circle.

Criminal mischief was reported April 19 in the 200 block of Bronc Drive.

Criminal mischief was reported April 20 in the 200 block of North Drive.

Criminal mischief was reported April 22 in the 500 block of Lee Street. Damage estimated at $250 to a vehicle door handle was reported.

Criminal mischief was reported April 23 in the 900 block of South 15th Street.

Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported April 22 in the 200 block of Paula Street.

Fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was reported April 23 in the 300 block of West Washington Street.

Debit card abuse was reported April 23 in the 400 block of South Main Street.

Indictments

Dennis James Moses, 32, of Copperas Cove was indicted April 20 on a charge of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.

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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