(CSU) WESTLAKE, Ohio – “We’re a non-profit that serves kids with impairments… and our purpose is on our vans,” said Chris Garr, CEO of Youth Challenge. In the last three years, thieves have targeted the non-profit organization Youth Challenge three times.
“We have catalytic converters taken from our vehicles that you can drive but they’re incredibly loud and horrible for the environment,” Garr explained. Garr is the director of the Westlake-based nonprofit. He claims that enough is enough and that something must be done.
So he went to Westlake Police for help, hoping to prevent Youth Challenge from becoming a victim for the fourth time. “We’re going to put cages around our catalytic converters to prevent theft,” Garr said.
Westlake police have made it a top priority to assist homeowners and businesses in preventing theft. It’s part of their no-cost crime-prevention initiative.
Officer Scott Fortkamp of the Westlake Police Department said, “We will help them secure their residents or place of employment to help prevent these types of incidents.” Officer Scott Fortkamp says the department uses a variety of resources, including a drone, to help protect an area.
“We look at particular regions that may be vulnerable… and we use the drone to get a birds-eye view of what we’re looking at,” Fortkamp explained. Fortkamp encourages people to participate in this initiative, especially given the rise in crime in Northeast Ohio.
“If we can establish those crime prevention principles… it helps keep the community safe,” Fortkamp added. Garr appreciates the programme since it has assisted Youth Challenge in combating crime.
“You know we’ll be fine at Youth Challenge; it’ll be a major inconvenience, but we’ll keep going,” Garr remarked.
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