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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 17, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2004 'All'Ll,ii SPOR! b     "'"I, Zeitung 'FORE' THE WIN New Braunfelser Terrence Miskell brings home team title in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Page SJI FORUM WOODALL Columnist says voters should not respond to mudslining and dump party affiliation to bring issues to the center. Page AA Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153. No. 212 14 pages, 2 sections CL www; 500 -Mir Ss ■ 56825 00001' Partly cloudy High Low 97 74 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 48 CLASSIFIEDS 448 COMICS 38 ♦CROSSWORD 38 FORUM 4A OBITUARIES SA SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 48 Motorcyclist dies after crash MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung A Canyon Lake Fire/EMS officer and a state trooper clean up the scene of a wreck Thursday night on FM 2673 near Skyline Drive. The motorcyclist died later at a San Antonio hospital. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A 42-year-old Canyon Lake motorcyclist died early Friday after a collision with a pickup truck. Department of Public Safety hooper Joel Machost said Allen J. Varsho was pronounced dead at 5:03 a.m. at University Hospital in San Antonio. Machost said Varsho ran into the right rear quarter panel of a Dodge pickup on FM 2673,1.5 miles west of Saltier, just before IO p.m. Thursday. “The pickup was driven by a 60-year-old Canyon Lake man who was eastbound and turning left into a private driveway near Skyline Drive,” TEXAS’ & NEW BRAUNFELS’ Police flunk.pickups pilfered because theyre more prevalent STATEWIDE NEW BRAUNFELS ■ GM pickups 9,156 ■ GM Suburban 1,925 B GM sports utility vehicle 15 ■ Harley Davidson motorcycle 3 B Ford pickups 4,802 B Honda Civic 1,870 B Ford pickups 14 * Chevrolet Corsica 3 ■ Honda Accord 2,929 H Toyota Camry 1,539 B GM pickups 6 ■ Dodge Dynasty 2 ■ Dodge pickups 2,714 ■ Ford Taurus 1,170 B Dodge van 5 B Ford Escort 2 TOTAL THEFTS TOTAL LOSS TOTAL THEFTS TOTAL LOSS 98,174 ____ $782,000,000 _______ 106__ $1,529,958 Source: Texas Department of Public Safety ‘Opportunity5 more attractive to thieves TAKEN FOR ’ A RIDE Tem to make a vehicle harder to steal: ■ Never leave the car running or unlocked and unattended. ■ Always lock the car, ayen while at home. ■ Always park in a well it area and ba familiar with the surroundings. J4 Aleft as alarms, steering I    wheel and ignition col* * ;    umn devices and UH j switches. 4 > I r * r I Never hide another sot of keys in the car. _ f§ Register the car w»fta 4 sored theft prevention E98W*----------- Source: Texan Deportment of Public Safety By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer Texans like their trucks. Texas thieves like them, too. In New Braunfels, General Motors sport utility vehicles accounted for 14 percent of auto thefts between May 2003 and April 2004, followed closely by Ford pickups at 13 percent, according to reports from New Braunfels Police Department. Statewide, GM trucks are the most stolen vehicles, with 9,155 stolen during the same period, according to Texas Department of Public Safety statistics. Next on the list are MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Police Detective Jon Bailey examines stolen merchandise, including a television and a bicycle, in the bed of a stolen pickup truck. Ford pickups, accounting for 4,802 thefts. Law enforcement officials say what attracts thieves to vehicles more than make or model, though, is opportunity. Whether a person owns a shiny, new truck or a rusty, old jalopy, police say preventative measures are the best bet to deter thieves. Thicks make good targets for Texas thieves because they're so prolific in the state, said New Braunfels Police Department detective Mike Penshom. “It's likely because of the popularity of the vehicles in relation to resale of the vehicle parts,” Penshorn said. “Plus, most of the vehicles made by those manufacturers have a lot of interchangeable parts.” Charles Young, a dealer at Bluebonnet Ford, said trucks made up nearly 80 percent of sales there. “More than anything else, it’s a utility vehicle, not everybody needs trucks, but they buy them," Young said. “With a truck, you can pull a boat, pull a trailer—it's a total, all-around utility vehicle.” Comal County Sheriff 's Office Detective John Bailey serves on a statewide auto theft task force. What attracts thieves to particular vehicles Machost said. “He said he looked, didn’t see the motorcycle, started to turn, and halfway through, saw the headlight. He sped up to miss, but was too late.” The driver of the motorcycle suffered major head injuries, Machost said. There were no signs of alcohol or intoxication being a fac tor on the part of the driver of the truck, Machost said. “It was just an unfortunate accident,” Machost said. The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet, the trooper said. There was no sign that he attempted to slow down. Investigation into the accident is continuing. Source: New Braunfels Police Department depends on the thief 's purpose, he said. “You've got joyriders and professional thieves,” Bailey said. “A joyrider will steal about anything. With professionals, you have mainly two types — ones who steal for the parts and ones who want something newer, with less mileage and in better condition." Joyriders often abandon a vehicle once it runs out of gas, Bailey said, and those vehicles are easier to recover. Professionals often either strip the vehicle to sell the parts, or See THEFTS Page 3A Suspect deputy shot fired first, investigator says By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The man shot last week by a Comal County sheriff’s deputy fired a shot of his own, narrowly missing the officer, till investigator said Friday. Detective Sgt. Tommy Ward said john Edward Morris, 41. tired his .12-gauge shotgun at deputy Brett Smith during the july 6 incident. Morris was shot three times in the chest by deputy Smith. Morris has been charged in Bexar County with attempted capital murder. Ward said Morris remained in stable condition Friday at University Hospital, where he was being treated under guard for the gunshot wounds, which punctured John Edward both of his lungs. Smith was uninjured. “Based on our investigation so far, there’s evidence to the fact that as Morris first displayed the firearm, he immediately discharged it in the direction of Deputy Smith,” Ward said. “Simultaneously, Deputy Smith was able to draw his firearm and return fire, striking Morris. Evidence recovered at the scene is able to corroborate all those facts.” According to the affidavit Ward sub-Morns nutted for a search warrant signed by 207th Judicial District judge Jack Robison, Smith was dispatched to find Morris after a suspicious person was reported in die Canyon Lake area. See SHOOTING, Page 3A Panel examines ways to ease Comal crowds By Scott Mahon Staff Writer A task force appointed by city council members would be diarged with trying to find ways to prevent overcapacity crowds on the Comal River. After the New Braunfels City Council agreed Monday on a stop-gap measure to avoid overcrowding on the Comal. Mayor Adam Cork recommended the task force. “I wanted to propose a task force to aggressively review the policies and options on limiting the number of people that get into the Comal River,” Cork said. “I want to discuss designating a task force at council’s next regular meeting on July 26.” Council voted Monday to allow city staff to close Binman Island Drive and Prince Solms Park on Saturdays if the crowds being shuttled by outfitters to the Comal become too large. That emergency measure remains in effect until Oct. I. "What happened on the Comal River Saturday (rose) tp the level of an emeigency,” Cbrk saith “There were entirely too many people on the river, which caused a lifethreatening situation.” Cork proposed the task force include two city council members, a county elected official, someone from the business community, a representative from the parks department and a representative from the police department. But Cork’s task force would not be the only group in town discussing the hotly debated issue. State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels held her own “brain storming session” with community leaders July See RIVER, Page 3A COMING SUNDAY Afjjjfch Hltftine WWW —    WWW    pi    WM    HINH    W in New BvKttnlciB for QuBtfeet ;