Cracking Down on Opioid-Related Crimes

As efforts to combat Ohio’s opioid epidemic continue, and the heroin problem continues to grow, so too, do the crimes associated with it. In Mentor, when police saw a spike in thefts of everything from high ticket items, to crab legs and baby formula, they acted quickly, developing a special initiative called the “Retail Theft Crime Deterrence Program” through a grant earmarked for an undercover law enforcement operation. The grant is funded by the state and is meant to target the heroin problem and the crimes associated with it. While police can’t say specifically what the program does, they’ve told local news agencies it involves undercover officers infiltrating suspected perpetrators and the groups with who they collaborate. The Mentor Police Department reported Wednesday that they have made 76 arrests through 2017, and have recovered more than $11,000 in stolen merchandise. Cities of all sizes throughout Northeast Ohio are taking similar measures to cut down on the problem, and it’s working.