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Published: Friday, 6/15/2007

Mayor's Toledo van tour leads to 3 arrests including naked couple

Three people were arrested, two of them after being discovered naked in a barn, as a result of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's regular weekly van tour yesterday, the mayor's spokesman said.

The naked duo were found in a building in the 2600 West Alexis Road, where the mayor and his staff had gone in response to a complaint of drugs and prostitution.

Brian Schwartz, the mayor's public information officer, said the mayor's Thursday van tour first took him to the 4000 block of Elmhurst Avenue to check on a nuisance property.

The mayor saw two vehicles with expired license plates that appeared not to have been moved for quite some time.

While there, they learned the vehicles' owner, who wasn't identified, had a warrant for failure to appear in court for another nuisance property, Mr. Schwartz said.

Police Officer Michelle Sterling was sent to serve the warrant on the owner of the vehicles.

While there, she told the mayor of complaints at a recent Block Watch meeting of the alleged illegal activity at the Alexis Road location.

Mr. Schwartz said the van tour went to that location, and a police officer knocked on the door of the house.

The house appeared open and lived in, but no one answered, so they walked around back to a barn where a police officer opened the door.

There, they found a man and a woman, both naked.

Mr. Schwartz said a check revealed that the two individuals had a total of seven warrants against them for traffic offenses and possession of drug paraphernalia.

After the two got dressed, they were taken into custody by Toledo police.

Mr. Schwartz quoted one suspect as saying, "I can't believe I'm being arrested by the mayor."

Mr. Schwartz justified the mayor's visit to the property and entering the barn as part of an investigation.

"It was to conduct the inspection of a nuisance," he said.

The mayor takes members of his top staff on a tour every Thursday afternoon to look for nuisance properties and other issues that need attention.

Mr. Schwartz said it was the first tour to yield arrests.

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