Thefts continue to be a bane on the law-abiding citizenry of Central Texas in general and Harker Heights in particular. It is wholly unnecessary to point out that nobody likes a thief-even another thief. No thief wants to be stolen from.

So what makes a person steal? What makes a person become a thief?

It is believed in some circles that man is born with sins, and if so, we are all imperfect and open to temptation.

No one however, is born a thief. A person’s circumstances and personal choices make him or her a thief. Thieves are made and most of these are self-made. Criminality is a choice. Anyone, regardless of circumstances may choose to become a criminal or pursue an honorable path through life.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, there are organizations in every community, which exist to support the needy among us. No one needs to steal to eat or otherwise survive.

It is my experienced opinion that thieves steal as a means to acquire goods or services by an easy route, rather than doing legitimate work to earn those things.

Thieves therefore, are dead weight on our society. Even when ultimately caught, adjudicated and sentenced to prison, these people continue to be a burden to taxpayers.

There are bleeding-heart enablers who continue to believe that people faced with hardship are forced to steal when hungry to save their lives.

These enablers refuse to acknowledge that many organizations exist to ease the burden of extreme poverty and hunger and are a viable, legal alternative to theft.

They are the food pantries, the soup kitchens, women and children in crisis, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, churches and a multitude of others.

These services are readily available and free for the asking.

No one needs to steal to live. People steal because they can. Stealing someone’s hard earned property, goods or money is far easier than working for it. It’s the lazy, conscienceless ne’er-do-wells who make a habit of stealing while shunning honest wage-earning work.

The pathetic reality is that these criminals choose to live among the very people they victimize, as though they belong.


Rene Garza, Jr., 40, of Harker Heights, on a charge of assault on a family member/household member with previous conviction.

Michael Shane Laurenti, 30, of Harker Heights, on a charge of driving while intoxicated third or more.

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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