The crooks were busy over the Christmas holiday in Temple, and so were police, as they responded to robberies, a burglary and a fight involving residents who apparently weren't filled with the spirit of the season.
The first incident occurred early on Christmas Eve morning at a store in the 3000 block of Thornton Lane where a man asked to buy a lighter and then pulled out a large knife when the clerk opened the cash drawer and demanded money.
He escaped on foot with about $200, according to a police report.
Then at around 3 a.m. on Dec. 24, a resident reported he was assaulted by his neighbor’s nephew in the 800 block of North 4th Street and that while he was being punched, another man who was standing nearby with a rifle ordered him to empty his pockets, a police report says.
Officers contacted the nephew who said he was arguing with the resident and that the two did get into a fight, but said he was only trying to defend himself, the report says.
Just after 5:40 p.m. on Christmas Day, two men entered the 7-Eleven store at 1216 West Avenue H.
One of the men, who was wearing a green hooded Baylor University sweatshirt and black pants, went to the cooler and tried to conceal two cans of beer in the front of his pants, a police report says.
The clerk said when she tried to remove the cans, the man struck him on the right side of her face.
The two men escaped with a 32-ounce Miller High Life and a 24-ounce Corona Extra.
The other man was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt under a tan jacket and green sweatpants.
The clothing combination was memorable enough that a little more than an hour later officers who responded to a report of a burglary in progress involving two suspects at the Family Dollar store at 1510 1st St. recognized a man they spotted at the northeast corner of the store as one of the suspects in the beer theft.
The man ran, but was captured after a short chase.
Ronald Ray Crawford, Jr., 22, remained in the Bell County Jail Wednesday charged with robbery.
He’s also held on an unspecified felony charge.
The jail’s online roster doesn’t indicate whether bond has been set.
The burglars gained access to the store by breaking out the glass front doors.
The second suspect escaped, the police report says.