A 36-year veteran of the Sylvania Police Department was arraigned in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Wednesday on a charge of theft in office.
Carl Beckman, 58, is accused of stealing more than $20,000 from the department s property room over a period of several years. He appeared in court with attorney Dick Roberts and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Judge Ruth Ann Franks set a March 9 trial date.
Hired in April, 1973, Mr. Beckman retired from his position last week. He remains free on his own recognizance.
According to the indictment filed Feb. 5, the thefts occurred between January, 1996, and January, 2009. Because the amount taken was in excess of $5,000, the charge is a third-degree felony and is punishable with up to five years in prison.
As an officer in charge of the property room, Mr. Beckman was responsible for logging all evidence, said Sylvania Police Chief Gerald Sobb. Included in the property was money confiscated during investigations.
After an investigation is completed, money is then either returned or forfeited to the department through the courts. Chief Sobb said it was when he ordered some of that money that had been forfeited to be brought up for deposit into the law enforcement fund that it was discovered thousands of dollars were missing.