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Published: Thursday, 5/14/2009

Ex-Sylvania police officer gets 3 years in prison for stealing

BLADE STAFF

A former Sylvania Police officer who was once assigned to manage the department's property room and was found to have pilfered thousands of dollars from the safe was sentenced in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on Thursday to three years in prison.

Carl Beckman, 59, who had already paid back the $29,112.49 in restitution, was also ordered to pay a $7,500 fine.

He pleaded guilty to theft in office March 18 after it was discovered that thousands of dollars were taken from the property room over a period of more than 10 years.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks said before sentencing that as a member of law enforcement, Beckman was held to a higher standard by the community for which he served. She said that the money taken was not that of "bad guys" as he believed but instead was the blood money of those officers locally and abroad who put their lives at risk to stop drugs.

"You have to be a messenger to others," she said. "Your oath can not falter."

A 36-year veteran of the department, Beckman retired in February just days before he was indicted on the felony charge.

The money was stolen from the property room, which houses all evidence seized during the investigation of crimes, between January, 1996, and January of this year.



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