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BUSINESS CRIME PREVENTION

 
The Vandalia Division of Police prides itself on keeping its residents and businesses safe and crime-free. The VPD offers several programs to help owners improve the safety and security of their business.

Fax Alert System:
The Vandalia Division of Police has implemented a Business Fax Alert System. The system is used to notify businesses of current crime trends. If there were a suspected robber in the area, a crime in progress or a person attempting to commit check or credit card fraud at a neighboring business, you’d want to know. With this alert system, the VPD will send a fax to your office, letting you know in a timely fashion about any pertinent safety issues. The system also incorporates the Amber Alert system, used to notify the public about a missing endangered child.
Please contact Officer Holly Estepp at 415-2272 if your business would like to participate in the Fax Alert System.

School Alert Fax System:
This system is used to alert schools of incidents occurring in other schools or to report suspicious people or vehicles seen at bus stops.

Business Security Surveys:
Every business owner is concerned with the security of their business. Let Vandalia’s Crime Prevention Officer help you! With a thorough security survey, the Crime Prevention Officer can offer suggestions to improve the security of your office. In less than an hour, the CPO will inspect your windows and doors, locking devices, lighting and exterior landscaping -- giving you helpful advice to make your business a more secure place.
To schedule a Business Security Survey, contact Vandalia’s Crime Prevention Officer, David Craine, at 415-2272 or dcraine@vandaliaohio.org.

Bad Check Policy:
It has been reported that ninety percent of money transactions in the United States take place by means of credit cards and checks. Unfortunately, bad checks account for more than a billion dollars in losses each year.With odds like that, it’s likely that you, as a merchant, have been the victim of a bad check at one time or another. If you receive a bad check, the first thing you need to do is attempt to notify the party that issued the check. If you are able to contact them by phone, advise them that the check was returned and must be paid within ten days of this notification. In addition, send a certified letter with return receipt requested to the address listed on the check. Be sure to record dates and times of all contacts or attempted contacts and keep copies of mail receipts for letters sent.If you have exhausted these means trying to collect on a bad check, then it is time to contact the police. Call the Vandalia Division of Police at 898-5868 to make a bad check complaint. The VPD is not a collection agency, so it is necessary that you intend to follow through with criminal prosecution.In order to successfully prosecute for bad checks, you’ll need the following:
1. The original check (not a copy)
2. The bank flag or official notification of dishonor
3. Name, address and telephone number of the person who accepted the check and who can identify the maker or presenter. If the suspect cannot be identified, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute.
4. A complete record of dates, times, contacts or attempted contact made with the issuer about the returned check. This must include the name(s) of the person who made or attempted to make contact. Keep any receipts showing that certified letters were sent and/or received by the check issuer as well as a copy of your letter requesting payment.

Private Property Tow-Away Zones:

Business and private property owners alike experience an ongoing problem with unauthorized motor vehicles being left on their lots. Recent revisions of the law have placed the burden for removal of these vehicles on the landowner or their agent.In order to tow vehicles from your property, you are now required to establish a private property tow-away zone by adhering to all the following guidelines:1. Post a sign on your property that is at least 18 X 24 inches, visible to all entrances, that contains all the following information:
•  Notice that the property is a private tow-away zone and that vehicles not authorized to park on the property will be towed away
• The telephone number of the person from whom a towed-away vehicle can be recovered as well as the address of the place to which the vehicle will be taken and the place from which it may be recovered
• A statement that the vehicle may be recovered at any time during the day or night upon the submission of proof of ownership and the payment of a towing charge not to exceed $70 and a storage charge not to exceed $8 per 24-hour period. For commercial vehicles, the towing charge is not to exceed $100 and a storage charge not to exceed $12 per 24-hour period
2. The towed vehicle must be taken to a place that is conveniently located, well lighted and in reasonable distance of a regular scheduled route of several modes of public transportation.3. The tow company must have 24-hour phone service and personnel available to release vehicles day or night. Owner/agent must locate a private tow company that meets this criterion.
4. The owner/agent must notify the police immediately upon towing a vehicle and provide the police with the following information:
  • the vehicle license number
  • make, model and color of the vehicle
  • the location from which it was removed
  • the date and time of removal
  • the telephone number of the person from whom it may be recovered
  • the address to which it has been taken and from where it may be recovered.

It is important that those who own or manage private property familiarize themselves with this law.

 
Failure to comply with the towing requirements of section 4513.60 of the Ohio Revised Code carries a criminal penalty of up to $100.00 fine. If you have any questions regarding tow-away zones, please contact Crime Prevention Officer Holly Estepp at 415-2272 or hestepp@vandaliaohio.org.

Other programs the Division of Police offers to the business community:
The Vandalia Division of Police looks forward to helping you improve the safety of your business. Vandalia’s Crime Prevention Officer is available to come speak to you or your employees on a wide range of crime prevention topics including:
- Work place violence
- Terrorism Awareness Program
- Fraud prevention
- Bad check prevention and procedures
- Bank robbery prevention and procedures
- Robbery prevention
- Risk reduction
- Alarm assessment
- Operation identification
- Shoplifting prevention
- Consumer fraud prevention
- Employee theft prevention
- Embezzlement prevention methods
- Trucking cargo theft prevention
- Executive protection advice
- Computer crime prevention
- Preventing drug labs on your property
- Preventing identity theft
- Business checks by patrol officers
- Business safety seminars

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Officer Holly Estepp at 415-2272 or by email hestepp@vandaliaohio.org

 

Vandalia Division of Police
245 J.E. Bohanan Drive
Vandalia, OH 45377
947-898-5868 (non emergency)

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