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Published: Friday, 12/22/2006

Reward system targets thefts at construction sites

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Three local contractors' associations have agreed to fund a rewards system for those who report crimes at construction sites, an official said.

Mary Gregory, executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Northwest Ohio, said the decision was made during a meeting held yesterday to discuss a rash of thefts that have taken place at construction sites in the region.

According to Ms. Gregory, the Mechanical Contractors Association, Associated General Contractors of Northwest Ohio, and the Ohio chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association have agreed to pay rewards ranging from $200 to $5,000 for theft convictions or the recovery of materials stolen from construction sites.

Ms. Gregory also said the rewards system will be facilitated by Crime Stopper programs in Toledo and Wood County.

Present at yesterday's meeting were representatives from the Toledo, Perrysburg Township, and CXS railroad police departments, Toledo Public Schools, Penta Career Center, the three contractors associations, and several general contractors.

"We were really excited with the response we got," Ms. Gregory said. "A lot of these sites have been victimized multiple times. We received a number of helpful ideas, especially from the police departments."

Ms. Gregory said posters promoting the reward system will be placed at construction sites, and reminders will be included with the paychecks of construction site employees.

Many school construction projects have been victimized by theft and vandalism in recent months, including Penta's 522,000-square-foot site in Perrysburg Township.

A Penta official last week reported copper wire and fittings were stolen from a contractor's trailer last month.

HPH Mechanical Contractors claims it has been robbed eight or nine times in the last six months while working on the new Libbey Middle School, Nebraska Avenue and Colingwood Boulevard.



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