Law enforcement is turning their attention to a common household product at hardware stores that has become a popular item used to manufacture meth. Lye-based drain cleaners are flying off the shelves.
Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander says they are in the early stages of looking into a possible county ordinance requiring lye product buyers to show ID.
"Make it harder on (the customers abusing the product) and then, possibly, they will go elsewhere. And then those communities will make it harder on them," Alexander said.
Alexander says he will be contacting local and national hardware stores to try and convince them of the need to combat the problem.
Summit County is leading in the state's 88 counties in meth lab busts this year, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Department.
Dale Marvin, manager at Ace Hardware in Hudson, says he tells his employees to look out for customers who purchase a suspicious amount of the lye-based drain cleaners.
"The employees are aware that if somebody comes in and tries buys a large quantity , they notify the managers," Marvin said.
Richard Tschantz, manager of West Hill Hardware on West Market Street, says his supplier doesn't offer many lye-based drain cleaners.
"A lot of it is due to the fact that it was being abused by people making illicit drugs, " said Tschantz.
Dustin Baker with Hoffman's ACE Hardware in Akron, says they now ask for a photo ID when customers purchase the lye-based drain cleaners.
"In the last couple of years, we've been checking (ID's) based upon the recent trends we've seen with purchases."