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ONTARIO RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO BE TARGETED BY INDIVIDUALS CLAIMING TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD (OEB)

Since October of 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Eastern Ontario have received an increased number of complaints from homeowners who have been solicited by individuals claiming to be associated with the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The OEB does not engage and is not involved in any type of sales activity.

Typically, the individuals will contact a homeowner by way of telephone requesting to attend the residence in order to conduct a green energy assessment to qualify for a green energy rebate or Ontario Rebate Program for COVID-19 relief. Once in the home, the representative will use high pressure sales tactics to have the homeowner purchase products and services in order to qualify for a rebate.

Door‐to‐door scams continue to pose a threat to Ontario consumers and businesses. Door-to-door salespeople can use high pressure tactics and can be aggressive in nature. Consumers may find themselves in a situation where they purchase a product or sign up for a service contract they neither need nor want.

The OEB has received in excess of 710 complaints related to energy scams in 2020 from consumers across the province.

In 2019, the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre receive 1,641 complaints related to service scams affecting 863 Ontario residents, for a loss of $2,878,898. Door‐to‐door scams reported to the Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre include solicitations or a service scam involving the sale or maintenance of an appliance.

On March 1, 2018, Ontario banned unsolicited, door‐to‐door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home. The new rules apply to air cleaners, air conditioners, air purifiers, duct cleaning services, furnaces, water filters, water heaters, water purifiers, water softeners, water treatment devices as well as bundles of these goods and services.

On January 1, 2017, Ontario banned energy retailers from signing up customers for an energy contract while at their homes to give consumers the ability to make choices about their energy supply at their own pace and with better information.

Know your rights under the Consumer Protection Act, at https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-under-consumer-protection-act

How can people of Ontario protect themselves?

  • Ask for photo ID, get the name of the person and the name of the company or charity they represent;
  • Be sure to get it in writing, ask for literature and don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot;
  • Never share any personal information or copies of any bills or financial statements;
  • Research before you invest. Don’t sign anything and always read the fine print;
  • An energy retailer cannot sign you up for an energy contract while they are at your home. For more information about the rules that energy retailers have to follow, visit: https://www.oeb.ca/knockknock.
  • For other contracts signed within the home, you have a cooling off period. For example, consumers in Ontario have the right to cancel a contract for any reason within a 10-day cooling off period. For water heater contracts, there is a 20-day cooling off period; and
  • To learn about programs and credits to reduce your electricity bill, visit: https://www.ontario.ca/yourelectricitybill.

If you believe you have become a victim of fraud, contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 (toll-free) or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or report the incident online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

No Ice is Safe Ice  

On December 19, 2020 at 3:45 p.m. Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police officers responded to a report from a concerned member of the public about three young people walking out on the ice at the wharf in Gravenhurst and with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, it is not safe to be playing on the ice. Fortunately the young people came off of the ice safely.

This behaviour not only puts the person in harm’s way but when first responders are called to an emergency on ice, the rescue efforts are complicated and puts firefighter, police and paramedic lives at risk.

CENTRAL REGION OPP PROVIDE HOLIDAY GIFTS TO FURY FRIENDS

As a result of a generous donation of a large quantity of pet toys, members from Central Region OPP were able to deliver a holiday toy to many fury friends within our area. At the beginning of December, Cool FM/Rock 95 contacted the OPP to advise they had a surplus of pet toys. Detective Sergeant Tanya Tremble, a dog-owner herself, knew that she just had to assist and eagerly travelled to collect all the pet toys. She then delivered the toys to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) in Midland and Orillia, and to a northern rescue foster home. Just like humans, animals need love, care and attention, and she knew that this would make the holidays extra special for some fury friends who may not otherwise have any gifts.

The OPP would like to remind community members of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act:

As of January 1, 2020, the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act replaced the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act. Transitional regulations are in place, such as carrying over the previous standards of care and administrative standards, to ensure animals are protected while long-term regulations are developed through consultation.

Basic standards of care that apply to all animals covered under the act, include requirements for:

adequate and appropriate food, water, medical attention and care

ventilation, light and protection from the elements, including harmful temperatures

sanitary conditions and space to enable natural movement and exercise

pens or enclosed structures

humane euthanasia to minimize pain and distress to animals

transportation in a manner that ensures an animal’s physical safety and general welfare

“Just like humans, animals can be vulnerable victims too. If you think an animal is in distress or is being abused, please call 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625).”

. LONG – TERM PARKING

Someone left their car in the long-term parking at San Jose while away, and their car was broken into. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, the culprits drove the car to the person’s home in Pebble Beach and robbed it. So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener. This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.

  1. GPS:

Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents. Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

  1. CELL PHONES:

I never thought of this! This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen. Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, “I received your text asking about our Pin number and I’ve replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral lesson:

  1. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc

b And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.

  1. Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet “family and friends” who text you.

PURSE IN THE GROCERY CART SCAM:

A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children’s seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf. Wait till you read the WHOLE story! Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers. She immediately

went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.

Police Investigate House Fire in Midland

(Midland, ON) – At approximately 8:44 p.m. on December 28, 2020 members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Southern Georgian Bay detachment, Midland Fire Department, and Simcoe County Paramedic Services responded to a fire at a residence on Elizabeth Street between Queen Street and Manly Street in the town of Midland.

Upon arrival, first responders observed a home fully engulfed in flames. Midland Fire Department extinguished the fire. All residents of the home were accounted for and uninjured.

The Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office attended the scene and declared it to be an arson. The investigation into the matter continues however, police are providing a photograph of an item of evidence located at the scene which is important to the investigation. The item is a metal container, approximate size of 5 gallons, meant to carry fluid.

Anyone with information that could assist with this investigation, including video footage in the area, is encouraged to contact the Southern Georgian Bay OPP by calling 888-310-1122. If you wish to remain anonymous please contact crime stoppers at www.crimestopperssdm.com or call 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Bracebridge man faces weapons charges on Christmas Day    

(BRACEBRIDGE, ON) – On Friday December 25, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were dispatched to attend a business in Bracebridge after a man alarmed staff by entering with an imitation firearm.

Police arrived quickly and arrested and charged 64 year-old Howie GLASS of Bracebridge with the following:

Possession of imitation weapon for Dangerous Purpose

Failure to comply with prohibition order

Being intoxicated in a public place

He will appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge on March 2, 2021.

LOCK IT OR LOSE IT

(NOTTAWASAGA OPP) – The Nottawasaga Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind our community to make sure your vehicle is locked at all times when it is unattended.

We have received reports of people checking unattended vehicles to see if there are any items that could be removed and stolen. What might seem like a quick stop can easily turn into something more time consuming.

It is also important to remember, for overnight parking, to make sure your vehicle is secured and if you are leaving valuable items inside, to ensure that they are out of sight.

CHILD ABDUCTION ON SAUGEEN FIRST NATION

Child Returned to Parents Uninjured

(SAUGEEN FIRST NATION, ON) On December 23, 2020 at 8:17 p.m. Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were dispatched to a child abduction that had just occurred on Eagle Street, on the Saugeen First Nation Reserve.

The investigation revealed a suspect had broken into a residence, took a young child and fled. The victim’s parents pursued the suspect and regained custody of their child. The suspect fled the scene.

Officers conducted a search of the area with the assistance of members of the West Region Emergency Response Team. The suspect was located and taken into custody.

Grey Bruce OPP have charged Nathaniel KAHGEE, 26 years-of-age, from Saugeen First Nation, ON with the following offences:

Abduction of a person under 14, section 28(1)(a) Criminal Code of Canada (CCC)

Break and enter a dwelling house – commit indictable offence, section 348(1)(b) CCC

The accused has been remanded into custody, following a bail hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice on December 24, 2020.

Anyone with information regarding this or any incident is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or online at www.opp.ca/reporting. Should you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at http://hc-cs.ca where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

 

IMPAIRED DRIVER CRASHES INTO MULTIPLE VEHICLES

Dangerous driving.

(SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA, ON) – On December 21, 2020 at 3:05 p.m. Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were dispatched to a church parking lot on Southampton Parkway, in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, ON.

Police received multiple complaints regarding a driver that had just driven onto the concrete walkway and was behaving irrationally. Officers attended the church parking lot and attempted to speak with this driver. The driver refused to stop for police and collided with several parked vehicles, including multiple police cruisers, before fleeing the scene.

The driver then made it onto the roadway, despite running over several tire deflation devices. This caused an imminent need to apprehend this suspect for public safety, so officers were eventually able to pin the vehicle and arrest the driver without further incident.

In total, the suspect damaged four police cruisers and two civilian vehicles.

Grey Bruce OPP have charged Darcy SOLOMON, 24 years-of-age, from South Bruce Peninsula, ON, with the following offences:

Operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and drugs, section 320.14(1)(a) Criminal Code of Canada (CCC)

Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, section 320.13(1) CCC

Flight from peace officer, section 320.17 CCC

Mischief over $5,000., section 430(3) CCC

Six counts of Mischief under $5,000., section 430(4) CCC

The accused was held for a bail hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice in Owen Sound on December 22, 2020.

Traffic Stop Results in Possession of Methamphetamine Charge for Tiny Township Resident

(MIDLAND,ON) On the morning of December 23, 2020, a member of the Southern Georgian Bay detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a traffic complaint in the Town of Midland. The officer observed the vehicle being driven on Fourth Street at 8:39a.m. and stopped it. The officer spoke with the driver and gathered the grounds to place him under arrest for possession of a drug. During a search of the driver on the roadside an amount of methamphetamine was located and seized. The driver was transported to the detachment where it was discovered that he was also breaching a previous court order.

As a result of this investigation, Ryan ST. AMANT, 29 years of Tiny Township, was charged with the following offences:

Possession of a Schedule 1 Substance – Methamphetamine contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

Failure to Attend for Fingerprints contrary to the Criminal Code

The accused was released from custody and is to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Midland on January 7, 2021

Members of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police are committed to public safety, delivering proactive and innovative policing in partnership with our communities. Officers value your contribution to building safe communities. If you have information about suspected unlawful activity, please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or visit Crime Stoppers at: www.crimestopperssdm.com or call 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Fight Investigation on Highway 12 by OPP Takes Out Impaired Driver

(TAY TOWNSHIP, ON) – On December 23, 2020 a motorist contacted the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Communications Center to report two persons fighting in the middle of Highway 12 at Gervais Road in Tay Township. Responding uniform members from Southern Georgian Bay OPP detachment located the involved persons nearby in their vehicles after they had fled the scene prior to the arrival of investigators.

The investigation revealed that the consensual fight was a result of a road rage incident between the two drivers and one of which was identified through investigation as Dylan James KING 20 years of Tay Township and charged with the following offences;

Failure or refusal to comply with demand contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada

and further with

Operate Motor Vehicle with Cannabis Readily Available contrary to the Cannabis Act

The accused was released from police custody on a undertaking to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Midland on January 7, 2021. The involved vehicle was towed and impounded for 7 days and the accused’s driver’s licence has been further suspended for 90 days under the conditions of the Administrative Drivers Licence Suspension (ADLS) .

OPP investigators wish to thank the motorist for alerting them to this occurrence and preventing a possible motor vehicle related tragedy especially at this holiday time (see the attached MADD CANADA Holiday Poster)

Police remind motorists that an essential part of the enforcement job is to save lives and reduce injuries on our trails, roadways and waterways. Educating the public about safe driving practices with our community safety partners is a priority, if you see a possible impaired driver or operator please “Make the Call” and dial 911 and help prevent a crash. (see the attached Arrive Alive poster)