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Published: Tuesday, 5/8/2007

Area efforts to combat crimes recognized

Two northwest Ohio crime-fighting efforts organized last year will be recognized today during the Ohio Crime Prevention Association's annual conference in Columbus.

Toledo police will receive the special project award for agencies with more than 100 officers for cracking down on people who steal metal for scrap in a program called Project SCRAPP (Stop Criminals Recycling Another Person's Property).

Toledo was one of a handful of nominations in this category. The project was selected because of its scope and because of its grass-roots effort in which police worked with scrap yards before targeting thieves and illicit scrap buyers, said Eric Poklar, the association's executive director.

The program was developed to nab criminals who strip metals from vacant houses and sell the materials for scrap. It resulted in one sting operation and led to several arrests and at least two misdemeanor convictions.

Mr. Poklar said Don and Judy Miller and the Roppe Corp., a floor manufacturer based in Fostoria, will receive an award in the corporate category for a privately financed, community policing program that pays for the salaries and benefits of three deputies from Wood, Hancock, and Seneca county sheriff's offices to stop by schools, visit stores, and talk with homeowners in Fostoria.

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