POLICE NOTES: Arson Fraud, No Foul Play, and Lots of Scams

There are 137,000 stories in the Royal City, and this is some of them. Looking at a week’s worth of media releases from the Guelph Police Service, there’s a lot gong on in our little city crime-wise speaking, so let’s run down some of the charges, issues, and requests for information from the Guelph Police Service over the last seven days.

***Please note that not all offenses and police calls are reported in the daily Guelph Police media release.

No Foul Play Suspected After Man Found Dead Downtown

Around the noon hour on Wednesday, police and emergency services were called to Yarmouth Street near the Norfolk Street intersection, a man with “obvious injuries” had collapsed in the street. The man was pronounced dead at Guelph General Hospital and the police found no evidence of foul play in the man’s death. No other information’s been released out of respect to the family. Police are encouraging anyone who was at the scene, and might be having difficulty process what they witnessed, to call Victim Services Wellington at 519-824-1212, ext. 7304, or email them at victim [at] vswguelph.on.ca.

Business Owners Charged with Burning Down Their Business

Two people who were part owners of a business that burned down right before the new year have been charged with arson and attempted fraud. On December 30, Guelph Fire put out a blaze at the business on Woolwich Street near Woodlawn, and the fire ended up causing over $450,000 in damage. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the owners had doubled the value of their insurance just three weeks before the fire broke out.

A 48-year-old Mississauga man and a 44-year-old Mississauga man were both charged with arson and attempted fraud over $5,000.

Guelph Officer’s Name Added to Ontario Police Memorial 

The first in-person Ceremony of Remembrance at the Ontario Police Memorial in two years will have added significance for the Guelph Police Service when the name of Constable John Teevens is added to the physical memorial across from  Queen’s Park. Teevens died on January 27, 1945 due to injuries sustained in 1939 when he was struck by a drunk driver while on duty on Upper Wyndham. The Ceremony of Remembrance is on Sunday at 11 am, and will be live-streamed on the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Another Fine Scam Going Around

Police are warning residents to be careful as fraudsters have another new scheme to try and get your money. This time, they will phone you posing as representative of your financial institution, and they may even have some of your personal information, or some knowledge of your finances. Then they will tell you that your information’s been compromised, and they will either ask you to confirm your credit card information, or direct you to purchase gift cards in order to prove that your information is safe.

Police remind you that banks and financial institutions will not ask for payments in gift cards or Bitcoin, and you should definitely not take someone’s word for it when they cold call you and tell you that they’re from your bank. When in doubt, hang up and call them back directly yourself. They also suggest registering your phone number with Canada’s Do Not Call List.

Distraction Thefts Still a Thing at Grocery Stores

There were two more incidents of distracted thefts are area grocery stores this week, and they both happened on Wednesday.

In the first incident, a man approached a 71-year-old woman and asked for her help to find something while claiming to not speak English. When the woman looked a short time later, she noticed her wallet was gone. The man who approached her is described as having an olive complexion, 5’6” with a slim build and wearing a varsity-style navy blue and white jacket, jeans, black shoes and glasses. If you have any questions, call Constable Paul Hinchliffe at 519-824-1212, ext. 7408, or email him at phinchliffe [at] guelphpolice.ca.

Later on Wednesday, a woman in her 60s while shopping at a store at Eramosa and Stevenson was approached by a man who asked her about the produce saying that he had trouble seeing. When the man left, the woman noticed her wallet was gone and her credit card company later called noting suspicious activity on her account. The man in this incident was described as white, in his 30s, 5’5” with a thin build, brown hair and glasses. It’s unknown if the two incidents are related, so if you have any information for this one, call Constable Andrew Hildebrandt at 519-824-1212, ext. 7263, or email him at ahildebrandt [at] guelphpolice.ca.

Assault

A 20-year-old Cambridge man was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose after he literally returned to the scene of the crime where two men were stabbed downtown earlier this month.

A 38-year-old Guelph man was charged with assault, assault police, uttering threats and breach of probation. A woman parked in front of an apartment building near Wellington and Neeve reported that a man tapped on her window and swore at her, and then when she got out of the car he charged at her, pushed her to the ground and uttered some death threats before going into the building. When police arrived he spit at one of the officers and struck him on the chin.

Break-Ins

Police are investigating an incident last Sunday where someone broke into the detached garage of a residence in the area of Gordon Street and Forbes. A bicycle, golf clubs, a crossbow and other items with a combined total value of more than $5,000 were stolen. If you have any information, call Constable Samuel Johnston at 519-824-1212, ext. 7214, or email him at sjohnston [at] guelphpolice.ca.

Someone broke a window and kicked in the door of a detached garage to a home in the area of Dumbarton and Renfield while the owners were away, but it appears that nothing was taken and the residence was never entered. A neighbour reported several loud bangs at around 2:30 am on Thursday morning, but they were unaware that the owners weren’t at home. If you have any information, call Constable Erik Ugarte-Bravo at 519-824-1212, ext. 7365, or email him at eugarte-bravo [at] guelphpolice.ca.

Theft

A 28-year-old Guelph man faces a number of charges including possessing stolen property over $5,000, possessing stolen property under $5,000, possessing a prohibited weapon, driving while suspended and several breaches of court orders. Members of the Break Enter Auto Theft (BEAT) Unit approached the man while he was pumping gas on Silvercreek North on Tuesday morning, and they discovered that his Jeep was stolen. A search of his backpack revealed a spring-assisted knife and suspected stolen property including several pieces of jewelry, keys for two vehicles, cheques and identification. The stolen jewelry is pictured below, and if you recognize it call Constable Josh van Breda at 519-824-1212, ext. 7417, or email him at jvanbreda [at] guelphpolice.ca.

A 35-year-old Kitchener man charged with possessing stolen property over $5,000 and possessing stolen property under $5,000 in connection to stolen car that was found at an Hadati Road parking lot on April 1.

Copper wire was stolen from five homes under construction in the area of Gordon and Clair sometime overnight on Monday or early on Tuesday morning. The cost of replacing the wire is approximately $2,000. If you have any information, call Constable Mallory Woeller at 519-824-1212, ext. 7462, or email her at mwoeller [at] guelphpolice.ca.

Three Guelph women aged 33 to 48 and a 41-year-old Guelph man were each charged with fraud over $5,000. Investigation of the suspects began when Ontario Works reported that there were a number of Guelph residents who were collecting payments they were not entitled to, the values of the fraud ranged from $5,900 to more than $43,000.

Traffic

Two Guelph males were charged with speeding and stunt driving last Sunday afternoon, loosing their licences for 30 days and their cars for 14 days. The two cars were clocked at 109 kilometres per hour in a 50 zone on Watson Parkway near Shackleton.

 

There was more stunt driving on Wednesday morning when an officer patrolling in the area of Watson and Grange and witnessed a BMW SUV travelling at 96 kilometres per hour in a 50 zone. (See the top of the article.) A 30-year-old Cambridge woman was charged with speeding and stunt driving, her vehicle was impounded for 14 days and her driver’s licence was suspended for 30 days.

A 25-year-old Guelph man was charged with speeding, stunt driving and driving with a G1 licence while unaccompanied when he was caught doing 91 kilometres per hour in a 50 zone along Victoria Road near Hadati on Tuesday afternoon.

A cyclist was struck and seriously injured on Eastview Road Monday morning when he turned and attempted to cross the road in front of an oncoming car. The cyclist complained of head and back pain and was taken to the hospital for treatment, the car sustained a broken windshield plus a dented hood and fender. The cyclist, a 22-year-old Guelph man, was charged with careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

Other Notes

A 30-year-old Guelph man was charged with mischief under $5,000 and uttering threats after throwing bricks and other items to damage cars along Quebec Street Monday afternoon.

A 31-year-old Guelph woman was arrested for failing to attend court, breach of probation and breaching a police undertaking after police spotted her downtown on Wednesday leaving an address for several people who she’s definitely not supposed to be having contact with.

A 20-year-old man was arrested for mischief to property after police responded to several complaints of loud music at his south-end home late Monday and early Tuesday. When police told the man about the complaints he promised to turn down the music, but as the officers left, his neighbour reported that the music had been turned up again.

A man reported to Guelph Police Service on Monday that he was the victim of a sextortion scam. He sent intimate images to someone he thought was a woman, who then turned around and demanded that the man pay them or the pictures would be released to his contacts. He paid the scammer $1,300.

Total calls for service last week: 1,479

If you have any information about the crimes or incidents mentioned above, you can also call Guelph Wellington Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or post online at csgw.tips.

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