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Police work to squash Whistler rental scam

Also in police briefs: Man arrested after breaking window and entering home before falling asleep; driver clocked travelling 110 km/h in 60 km/h zone
Speeding drivers, a break-in and a rental scam are just a few of the 87 files police in Whistler, B.C. dealt with during the third week of November.

Whistler RCMP hope a landlord accused of scamming house hunters this fall has seen the error of her ways, but police are warning renters to be on the lookout for the potential swindler just in case.   

In a release issued Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 23, police said a local landlord has been collecting damage deposits and entering rental contracts with potential tenants, before abruptly changing the terms of those proposed rental agreements. She allegedly offered to return damage deposits to those tenants if they disagreed with her new terms, but when renters declined and requested their money back, police say the landlord failed to issue the refunds.

The landlord reportedly used a popular online buy-and-sell platform to rope in the would-be renters. Whistler RCMP said they've so far heard from six separate complainants reporting the landlord. "Police anticipate the landlord to stop now that they’ve spoken with her," the release read, "and are notifying the public [to] help inform future potential renters of this scam."

It's one of numerous scams that target vulnerable renters looking for secure, long-term accommodation amid Whistler's ongoing housing crisis

The complaints fall among the 87 total files Whistler's RCMP detachment opened during the week spanning Nov. 15 to 21. 

Police arrest man caught sleeping after breaking into Whistler home

A man looking for a comfortable place to lay down after a Friday night out woke up in a decidedly less comfortable location on Saturday morning.

Whistler RCMP say they headed to the 9500 block of Emerald Drive in the early morning hours of Nov. 19, after a man who they said had been drinking reportedly "smashed a window" of a nearby home.

"No one was home at the time, and the man went into the house to sleep," police explained in a release. "Unfortunately, the man didn’t have permission to be in the residence."

RCMP officers arrested the man and held him in custody until he was capable of caring for himself. Police said they are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the break-in and expressed gratitude to "the caller who was concerned about the man’s safety from the cold weather."

New driver clocked travelling at almost double the posted speed limit

A new driver learned a harsh lesson about the consequences of a heavy foot during a recent visit to Whistler. 

According to police, an RCMP member conducted a traffic stop after observing a vehicle speeding 50 kilometres over the posted limit on Thursday, Nov. 17.  In the release, Whistler RCMP confirmed the individual behind the wheel was from out of town and was recorded driving 110 kilometres per hour in a 60-km/h zone.

Police impounded the vehicle and slapped the driver with a violation ticket for excessive speeding.

After driver caught speeding under the influence, road stop yields positive results for Whistler RCMP  

Another driver spotted caught flouting the speed limit Thursday ended up receiving more than just a speeding ticket. 

Whistler RCMP said one of its members was out on patrol when he noticed a speeding car and decided to conduct a road check. After pulling over the vehicle, the officer became suspicious its driver, from Quebec, may have been drinking before getting behind the wheel.  

The drivers subsequently failed a roadside breathalyzer test, police explained in the release. In accordance with the Motor Vehicle Act, the officer served the driver with a 90-day driving prohibition and impounded their car for 30 days.

A more formal road check set up a couple of days later thankfully yielded better results, particularly in light of the eight impaired drivers caught on Whistler roads the week prior. Police said members from the Whistler RCMP detachment set up a road check on Saturday evening, Nov. 19,  and checked about 50 cars.

Despite collecting mandatory breath samples from "numerous drivers" during the check, every single sample resulted in a “0” reading, police said. 

Have any information to share about any of the above files? Contact the Whistler RCMP at 604-932-3044, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or to stay anonymous.


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