Police Info

DAYTIME FATAL COLLISION IN SPRINGWATER TOWNSHIP

One driver deceased following two vehicle collision

(SPRINGWATER TOWNSHIP, ON) - On June 22, 2020, at 11:07 a.m., members from the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a collision involving two vehicles on County Road 27, just south of Flos Road 7, in Springwater Township.

The driver of a Dodge Journey sustained fatal injuries in the collision and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The deceased has been identified as Jeffrey LESCARD, 59 years old, of Barrie, Ontario.

The driver of a transport truck did not sustain any injuries and was transported to hospital as a precaution.

 

BREAK / ENTER BUSINESS THEN RESIDENCE

- The Orillia Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were called to attend a Severn Township Business for a break and enter and theft, and a separate call for a break and enter and theft to an Orillia residence. Both break and enters are connected with the same suspect.

Sometime between the evening of June 19 and the early morning of June 20, 2020 unknown suspect(s) broke into a Washago business in Severn Township. Suspect(s) took keys from the business and stole a vehicle.  Vehicle described as a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck grey in colour

On June 20, 2020 at about 3:30am a suspect driving the above vehicle was seen on camera breaking into a High Street residence. The suspect entered the garage of the residence and removed several items including a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle (photo attached), a black and red Trek 18 speed bicycle with green pedals (photo attached), a white camo coloured Origine brand snowmobile helmet (photo attached) along with other items.

The Orillia OPP are continuing to investigate these incidents. If anyone has any information pertaining to these occurrences, please contact police at 1-888-310-1122 or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

 

OPP Weekend Marine Report

Members of the OPP Marine Unit attached to the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were out on patrol over the weekend of June 18-21, 2020. Marine officers conducted 35 hours of patrol on the waters of Georgian Bay checking 25 vessels and their operators for any signs of impairment and for having all of the required equipment.

Those vessel checks resulted in the following infractions being noted-

  • Four offence notices were issued to operators of vessels that did not have sufficient Life Jackets for all persons aboard.
  • Three operators were ticketed for failing to provide their vessel registration or Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
  • One offence ticket were issued to an operator with open liquor while underway.
  • 11 warnings were issued by the officers for various marine equipment issues.

Officers attended seven calls for service from the public including searching and locating two persons lost in the McCrea Lake area and a vessel fire in Georgian Bay Township extinguished by Georgian Bay Fire Service with the three occupants escaping unharmed. (see attached submitted photograph) Another search was also conducted in Hogg’s Bay at 3:25 p.m. June 21, 2020 by the marine unit for a missing swimmer last observed before the afternoon rain storm. Swimmer was located safe on shore.

The Marine Unit also visited four area marina’s and made themselves available for marine educational questions from marina patrons during their patrol time. Officers remind boaters operating human powered water craft such as canoes that impaired driving legislation does apply as does the Liquor Licence Act.

Young vessel passengers who were observed wearing their Life Jacket continue to be rewarded by officers with the popular “I Got Caught Wearing My Life Jacket” T-Shirt program - (see attached submitted photograph)

Boaters should also check the following websites and comply with any restrictions before planning to go ashore on your favourite island in Georgian Bay.

  1. Beausoleil First Nations Lands http://www.chimnissing.ca/
  2. Georgian Bay Islands National Park https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/georg
  3. Georgian Bay Township https://www.gbtownship.ca/en/index.aspx

Officers crewing the OPP patrol vessel’s remind all vessel operators that they are checking for vessel equipment and for liquor offences which they are vigorously enforcing in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities on our area waterways this summer. For more information on safe vessel operation and equipment please view the following web site - https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm and the attached MADD Canada poster

Police remind operators that an essential part of the enforcement job is to save lives and reduce injuries on our waterways. Educating the public about safe vessel operating practices is a priority.

 

Impaired Boater Arrested and Charged on Severn River

(SEVERN, ON) - The Orillia Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has arrested and charged a male with impaired operation of a vessel on the Severn River.

On June 20, 2020, police received two complaints regarding a vessel being operated by a male who was believed to be impaired on the Severn River. Police patrolled extensively and were unable to locate the boat at that time. Just before noon, on June 21, 2020, members of the Orillia OPP Marine Unit observed the suspect vessel, stopped it and initiated an impaired operation investigation.

As a result, Matthew HINTON, age 62, of Collingwood, Ontario was arrested and charged with:

  • Operation While Impaired - Alcohol, contrary to Section 320.14(1)(a) of the Criminal Code
  • Operation While Impaired - Blood Alcohol Concentration (80 plus), contrary to Section 320.14(1)(b) of the Criminal Code

The accused was released on a Form 10 Undertaking and is set to appear on July 14, 2020 at the Ontario Court of Justice, Orillia.

 

OPP Marine Unit Asks - Are You and Your Passengers Wearing an Approved Lifejacket?

Members of the OPP Marine Patrol attached to the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have recently come across a number of non-approved lifejackets while conducting their vessel checks on the waters Georgian Bay. The officers educated those vessel operators to ensure that their vessels contained sufficient approved lifejackets for each occupant of the vessel. Please see the supplied attached photographs of the non-approved Lifejackets the officers found.

Vessel operators should check that their vessel lifejackets have a label that stating it has been approved by any of the organizations below:

  • Transport Canada
  • Canadian Coast Guard
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Please take a moment to review the following Transport Canada link https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/marine/getting-started-safe-boating/choosing-lifejackets-personal-flotation-devices.html#standards to ensure that you have the correct lifejackets aboard your vessel and OPP Marine Officers want to remind all boaters that Lifejackets only work if you wear them!

Officers crewing the OPP patrol vessels remind all vessel operators that they are checking for vessel equipment and for liquor offences which they are vigorously enforcing in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities on our area waterways this summer. For more information on safe vessel operation and equipment please view the following web site - https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm .

Police remind operators that an essential part of the enforcement job is to save lives and reduce injuries on our waterways. Educating the public about safe vessel operating practices is a priority.

 

OPP Officers Arrest Papineau-Cameron Township Resident in Connection with Human Trafficking Related Offences in Midland

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Southern Georgian Bay Detachment responded at 9:38 a.m. March 1, 2020 to a report of inappropriate activity towards paying motel guests by the manager at the time of a Midland area motel. An investigation into the allegations was commenced by uniform members and assisted by members of the OPP Central Region Crime Unit. Through investigation it was learned that a number of offences had occurred dating back to April, 2018 involving Midland area residents at this motel.

As a result of this investigation Dharmesh PATEL 38 years of Papineau-Cameron Township was arrested on June 17,2020 has been charged with the following offences in relation to this incident-

  • Communicate with anyone for purpose of obtaining sexual services (six counts)
  • Procuring (three counts)
  • Contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada

The accused was released from custody after appearing before the video bail court and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Midland on August 27,2020.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can submit your information online at www.p3tips.com. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.00. You can follow Crime Stoppers of Simcoe Dufferin Muskoka www.crimestopperssdm.com on Twitter or Facebook.

 

OPP INVESTIGATING THEFT OF PAINTING

Police appeal for information and witnesses

On June 11, 2020, the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a complaint for a break and enter that occurred at “We Get It” buy and sell store, located at 236 William Street, in Clearview Township. It was reported that at approximately 2:00 a.m., unknown suspects entered the store and stole a privately-owned painting.

The painting has been described as a Robert-Ralph Carmichael original, titled “Mountain Skies 1978”.

The OPP is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying any suspicious vehicles or persons seen in that area between the night of June 10 and early morning hours of June 11. Anyone with information or surveillance footage pertaining to this investigation is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

If you wish to remain anonymous please contact Crime Stoppers at: www.crimestopperssdm.com or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

CHARGES LAID IN OVERDOSE DEATH INVESTIGATION

(TOWN OF NEW TECUMSETH, ADJALA-TOSORONTIO & ESSA TOWNSHIPS, ON)- Members of the Nottawasaga Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Crime Unit under the direction of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) have charged three persons in connection to an opioid overdose that claimed the life of a man in Alliston.

On Thursday, January 30, 2020, at approximately 8:56 p.m., Nottawasaga OPP, New Tecumseth Fire Rescue and Simcoe County Paramedic Services responded to a call for a sudden death at a residence on Victoria St. E., and located the deceased, 45-year-old Trevor BENNS of Alliston.

On June 16, 2020 members of the Nottawasaga OPP Crime Unit, Nottawasaga Community Street Crime Unit, Caledon Community Street Crime Unit, Regional Support Team, Central Region Emergency Response Team, and support from OPP specialized services executed a search warrant at a residence on Christie Crescent in Barrie and arrested the accused.

As a result of this six month long investigation, three people have been charged.

  Michelle LONGWORTH, 38 years of age, from Barrie, has been charged with:

  • Manslaughter, contrary to s.236(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada (CC);
  • Criminal Negligence Causing Death, contrary to s.220(b) CC;
  • Trafficking of a Schedule I Substance (fentanyl), contrary to s. 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA);
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (fentanyl), contrary to s. 5(2) CDSA;
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine), contrary to s. 5(2) CDSA;
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose - CC 88; and with
  • Possession of property obtained by crime - CC 354(1)(a).

Akino PHILLIPS, 38 years of age, from Mississauga, has been charged with:

  • Manslaughter, contrary to s.236(b) of the CC;
  • Criminal Negligence Causing Death, contrary to s.220(b) CC;
  • Trafficking of a Schedule I Substance (fentanyl), contrary to s. 5(1) of the CDSA;
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (fentanyl), contrary to s. 5(2) CDSA;
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine), contrary to s. 5(2) CDSA; and with
  • Possession of property obtained by crime - CC 354(1)(a).

Sukhraj ATWAL, 24 years of age from Barrie, has been charged with:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (fentanyl), contrary to s. 5(2) CDSA;
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine), contrary to s. 5(2) CDSA;
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose - CC 88; and with
  • Possession of property obtained by crime - CC 354(1)(a).

  The accused are being held pending bail hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice.

Also seized as a result of this investigation was 22 grams of cocaine and crack cocaine, 6 grams of fentanyl as well as $4500 in cash.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has investigated 16 occurrences where charges have been laid for Manslaughter and/or Criminal Negligence Causing Death in relation to fatal overdoses since 2016. Of these occurrences, two were this year.

“People are falling victim to, and dying from opioid overdoses every day. The OPP will continue to hold those who are knowingly trafficking harmful substances in our communities accountable for these deaths. We are committed to ensuring public safety in our community” - Detective Inspector Chris Landry, Criminal Investigation Branch.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or their local police. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit information at p3tips.com, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

 

5 Easy Steps to Hack-Proof Your Home  + Latest Coronavirus Scams

With more and more of us working from home, as well as adding to our collection of Wi-Fi gadgets, it’s time to consider hack-proofing your home.

You don’t need a hacker to be sitting outside your home, or a neighbor trying to log on to your network for your Wi-Fi setup to be vulnerable to attack, as we used to think.

These days, scammers and hackers use all sorts of tactics and equipment to get on board your home network and wreak havoc -- whether they’re spying via home security cameras, logging on to your smart TV, or simply accessing your computers to steal confidential information.

Sometimes, they buy stolen log-on information on the black market, other times they guess your password, or use sophisticated technology that allows them to attack a system. Or they may break in via an unprotected smart home device that falls under the category of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Think they wouldn’t or couldn’t hack your smart fridge?

Says Professor Ralph Russo, who heads up information technology programs at Tulane University: “Your home can be a goldmine to hackers who are seeking to capture your banking password, your online accounts, and your personally identifiable information, and entering and establishing a beach-head through an IoT device can be the low-hanging fruit.”

Oftentimes too, users have no idea they’re victims, though they may have glimpsed clues, such as the slowing down of their PC or inexplicable activity in back accounts.

Hackers can even break into home alarm systems to disable them and burglarize.

5 Key Steps

Hack-proofing your home may seem like a complicated business. But a few key actions can help you eliminate or reduce most of the risks.

Here are 5 key steps you can take:

  1. Install and regularly update your Internet security software. We always start with this because it’s by far the most effective safety action you can take. But make sure your software doesn’t just stop viruses. You also want one that sets up and manages a firewall, software that can prevent intruders breaking through.

A good product can intercept most current hack attacks. Which one to buy? All the leading names like Norton, Kaspersky, and McAfee come with good reputations and frequently change places at the top of the ‘best of’ table.

Beware if you’re researching this online, as some list operators order software according to who will pay them the best affiliate marketing fee for recommending them. Instead, try an independent review site like this: https://tinyurl.com/best-security-list

Let your software do its job automatically but, every now and then, run an all-system or deep scan that you usually have to start manually.

  1. Use unique passwords on your system. That goes for your PC log-on, your router and anything else that calls for an access code. Never use the defaults that come with devices you buy, especially modems, routers, and alarm systems. Hackers know all of them. Then, of course, you should change passwords regularly, in  case your current ones fall into the wrong hands.
  2. Keep your systems up to date. Many hardware manufacturers, like those who make burglar alarms, routers, monitoring cameras (including those used in the nursery) and, of course, computers, regularly update their firmware (the intelligent chips built into them).

But they don’t automatically tell you. Most hardware, like routers, cameras, and home ‘assistants,’ have apps that enable you to access the way they work. Use these and select something like “check for updates.”

If you register your device with the maker when you first buy it, chances are high they will notify you of any updates. So, don’t pitch that registration card.

The same applies for software programs, which are frequently updated not just for new features but also to add in security modifications.

If you don’t know how to access these devices, check with the manufacturer’s website.

  1. Disconnect from the Internet. If you have a home network that enables you to switch off Internet access, the rest of your network itself -- that is, the parts inside your home -- can remain active. If you’re not likely to be using the Internet for a while and you have this ability, use it.

However, be cautious. If you have a home security monitoring system or cameras, this may only work via the Internet. If you switch that off, your attempt at improving security will backfire.

But, even if you don’t want to switch off, you should consider unplugging devices that aren’t in use. And if you sell them, give them away, or toss them, always do a factory reset. Devices normally have a factory reset button But if yours doesn’t and you don’t know how to reset, again check with the manufacturer’s website.

  1. Replace outdated equipment. Devices manufactured say five years ago may not have adequate built-in security, even if you update the firmware. This is particularly the case with routers, which experts say should be replaced after five years.

And make sure your router is set to the highest security level (usually referred to in your router app as WPA2). Also, set up a separate guest network if you regularly have visitors who need to use your network. Check the manual or maker’s website for details on how to do this.

It’s probably never going to be possible to 100% hack-proof your home, but following these few simple steps will protect you from all but the most determined and expert hacker.

 

Coronavirus Scams Update

Here are some of the latest tricks involving scams and misleading information relating to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic:

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued another 35 warnings to firms marketing products that claim to treat or protect against the virus, when there’s no evidence that they do. See the full list here: https://tinyurl.com/FTC-warns

Students have been receiving messages pretending to come from their school or college. It claims they have to access a portal for information on stimulus payments using their college log-in details. The link leads to a phony college sign-on page, enabling the crooks to steal usernames and passwords.

Think you should have received a stimulus payment but didn’t? It might have been stolen. First, check on your payment status at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments. If your payment has been issued but didn’t arrive, file a complaint at www.identitytheft.gov -- that will start the ball rolling and create an affidavit that can be submitted to the IRS.

Venmo Mobile Cash Users Targeted by Scammers  + Coronavirus Scams Update

Users of one of the most convenient and popular mobile payment apps, Venmo, are being repeatedly targeted by scammers.

Venmo, in case you didn't know, is a smart phone app that allows a user to pay or transfer money to other people, a bit like PayPal, which bought Venmo for $800 million in 2013. But it's not the same. It also has social media aspects allowing users to communicate with each other.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Venmo handles billions of dollars every month, and had around 23 million users -- mostly millennials -- at the last count.

To use the free app, you have to connect it to a payment method like your credit card or bank account.

Several concerns about its security have been voiced in recent years. In 2016, according to the WSJ, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publicly expressed concern about its privacy policies.

But that's not what the scammers are aiming at.

Writer Ann Schrader, who has reported on frauds and other con tricks targeting Venmo, says the most common scams exploit user ignorance of the way the app's payment transfer works.

"For example, typical Venmo transactions may look as if they've been completed instantly," she writes, "but take a couple days to process before you actually receive the funds -- leaving users vulnerable to giving up goods before actually receiving the payment in their bank."

So, a scammer may buy and pay for something using Venmo but after the sale (and the shipping), the crook contacts Venmo and asks for the payment to be reversed. Too late for the unfortunate seller.

Family and Friends Only

This happens on trading sites like Craigslist, where buyers, who are not known to the seller, ask them to use Venmo for payment. For its part, Venmo discourages this type of activity, saying the app is meant to be used only between family or friends.

In fact, Venmo's terms and conditions specifically state this, which means that it won't compensate people who use it for online buying and selling and then fall victim to a scam.

"While using Venmo for normal payments within your circle or network (i.e. people you know or regularly interact with) is generally safe," Schrader explains, "be wary of using Venmo as a payment system for things like online ads."

Another Venmo scam identified by Internet security firm Norton uses texts disguised as messages from Venmo to try to steal bank account and other confidential financial information.

The messages tell users their accounts will be charged -- for what, they don't always say -- if they don't click on a link in the text message.

"Once recipients click, the consumer is taken to a website that asks for their credit card number and other personal and financial information," says Norton.

The scammers then may sell this information on the dark web or use your bank account information to make fraudulent purchases elsewhere."

Yet another trick, which we've reported on previously in a Snippets issue (see https://scambusters.org/recallnotice.html), is the digital equivalent of being robbed in the street. A stranger apparently in desperate straits asks a victim if they can borrow their phone.
They delay handing back the phone, saying they need to send a text message because the other party didn't pick up. Then they check to see if Venmo is installed and simply transfer money to themselves.

How to Avoid a Venmo Scam

The most important action you can take to avoid a Venmo scam is to use the app solely for its stated purpose -- transferring money to and from people you know.

So, if you're selling on Craigslist or similar, don't agree to use the app for transactions. If by any chance you think this might be safe for a particular transaction, tell the buyer you won't ship until the payment is in your bank.

And if someone asks to use your phone, either decline or say that you will input the number for them, wait for the other party to reply and then hand the phone to them. Then keep a close eye on their activities.

The FTC also urges caution even if you receive a request for money from someone you think you know. If the request is unsolicited and you don't know what it's for or didn't expect it, call the requester and confirm it.

Finally, of course, you should closely monitor your Venmo and linked payment accounts for any unusual transaction.

And, by the way, other mobile payment apps like Zelle and CashApp may also be vulnerable to this type of scam.

Not a Coronavirus Scam

We've reported recently on many scams connected with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, but now we're warning about just the opposite -- something people believe to be a scam but isn't.

The misunderstanding relates to the issue of stimulus payments by debit cash cards -- for those who may not have a bank account or whose account details are unknown to the IRS.

The tax agency apparently is sending out four million of these Visa cards, which some people have apparently mistaken as credit card solicitations and have promptly binned them.

Furthermore, even those who have opened the mailing have been concerned because it comes from what tech site Gizmodo.com refers to as a "sinister sounding" sender "Money Network Cardholder Services" and the card issuer Metabank, rather than the US Treasury or the IRS.

So, if you receive cards bearing this information, it's legit.

One final warning, however; if you do receive a card and then get a call from someone posing as an IRS official claiming there's been an error and asking for your card number and PIN, don't hand over the information.