Sheriff warns businesses to be vigilant
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Monday, 24 June 2013 08:35
PERRYSBURG - Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn warned area businesses to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings to help prevent crime.
|File photo. Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn in his office. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Wasylyshyn spoke Wednesday at the monthly meeting of the Perrysburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
He said that law enforcement is seeing an uptick in drug offenses, especially among users of formerly expensive drugs like cocaine, heroin, and prescription medications, all of which are now cheaper to acquire on the street.
"They don't care how they get their next hit, they just want to get their next hit," he said.
And one way that addicts use to feed their habit is by stealing and then selling items.
Wasylyshyn noted that daytime break-ins are increasingly being seen as a result.
He recounted one previous case where a woman broke into houses in the county with her 6-year-old child, took items, and then sold them at a heroin-house in Toledo.
"If someone comes up to rob your business, don't argue with them," he advised. "Give them what they want."
However, Wasylyshyn said that business owners can still be good witnesses in such situations, paying attention to the physical characteristics of robbers in order to help investigators.
"The key is to not resist."
"You never, ever want to go with someone as a hostage," he later advised, but said that such situations are very rare.
"Statistically you're not going to live through it."
He told business owners to be aware of their surroundings - for instance, greeting customers as they come in, and looking around the business before entering in the morning. Exit the building and call the authorities if something is out of the ordinary.
Otherwise "you're basically saying 'come rob me.'"
He noted that alarm systems, cameras, and lighting are especially potent in deterring crime. Additionally, the Sheriff's Office is moving to a two-call verification system to help cut down on false alarms from burglary alarm systems.
Wasylyshyn further filled attendees in on Wood County's recent conversion to a "next generation" 911 system which relies on the internet rather than phone lines.
With this system, more data, including security camera feeds, can be provided to dispatchers in order to better inform deputies heading to crime scenes.
Cellular phone calls going to 911 can now be pinpointed within 10 meters of where the caller is, he said.
The change also allows dispatchers to log into the new system from virtually any computer with an internet connection - a helpful utility in case of a power outage or disaster.
Wasylyshyn said that the next step for 911 systems is to be able to accept 911 texts. However, cellular providers have not yet figured out a way for an entire texting conversation to be tied to a single person as a single call.
Current technology would only allow each individual text to come through as a separate call. Wood County doesn't accept texts via 911.
"That's the challenge with receiving the 911 text messages."