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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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        The winter weather and a blanket of snow may be inviting to snowmobilers, but in Lake Township you’d better have the permission of property owners before racing across the many fields in rural areas of the township.

        Police Chief Mark Hummer said a no-tolerance policy remains in effect, meaning patrol officers will cite violators rather than issue warnings. While the offense of criminal trespassing is a misdemeanor for violations involving snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles, the fines are doubled.

        On Dec. 28, four residents of Millbury were cited after police observed them on a field along Latcha Road.

        “If you get caught you’re going to get cited,” the chief said. “We try and get their attention so they’ll come over and talk to us. In this case, three of the four stopped. With one, we found out who he was and went to his home and waited for him to get there.”

        He said the field in question was planted with winter wheat – a common crop in the area.

        “The crop needs that covering of snow,” he said. “Properly registered snowmobiles are allowed on public right-of-way in the township but not on private property without the permission of the owner.”

        The tougher policy has been in effect since 2014-15 after several landowners complained to the township trustees about snowmobiles trespassing on their property. The growers among them said winter wheat fields were being damaged.

        “We’ve had a few complaints so far this season.  We had a couple of winters with less snow but it appears it’s picking up. We’re not going to get in a pursuit where someone gets hurt or killed over it. But we’re going to do our best to identify them. We know who most of them are,” the chief said.

        In February, 2015, two Perrysburg men were charged with four counts each of criminal damage after allegedly driving snowmobiles over farm fields along Pemberville, South and Lemoyne roads and State Route 795.

        In Ottawa County, the sherrif’s department hasn’t had any reported complaints since Jan. 1, Brad York, chief deputy, said.

       

 

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