A week before he was to be arraigned, a former Sylvania police officer appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to 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. Judge Ruth Ann Franks set a March 9 trial date. A 36-year veteran of the department, Mr. Beckman retired from the department 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 more than $5,000, the charge is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison.