The number of victims in a room rental fraud has increased to 18, according to the Whistler RCMP.
Last week it was reported that a dozen people were taken in by an ad for a room for rent on the 6100 block of Eagle Drive that was posted on Craigslist and in Pique Newsmagazine . The renter - described as a male with a British accent - said he was looking for someone to take over his lease and was only looking to get back his damage deposit. The victims paid between $250 and $500 in cash to the man, but when they showed up at the property the room was already rented out.
The RCMP have a suspect in mind and are in the process of seeking charges for fraud over $5,000 against the individual. It's not known where the individual is currently.
There were two other cases of fraud reported this week, both targetting visitors to Whistler. In one case a person answered a Craigslist post regarding a rental on Chateau Boulevard and posted a $300 deposit to Chase Bank in the U.S. The man got suspicious when the scammer attempted to ask for a 30 per cent down payment on top of the deposit and contacted the police. The police are obtaining copies of the e-mails in question as part of their investigation.
The other case involved a couple claiming to be Steve and Susan Heppner, and is related to other reports of fraud from earlier in December using Craigslist. In this case a victim from Hong Kong paid a $560 deposit for a fraudulent rental.
Four warrants for intoxicated man
On Dec. 22 at 1:27 a.m. the RCMP received a call regarding a man who was passed out in a hotel lobby at the 43000 block of Sundial Crescent. The RCMP went to the hotel to bring him back to the cells for being intoxicated in public. The 28-year-old Whistler male gave the police a fake name, but they later discovered there were four outstanding warrants for the man after failing to appear on a range of changes - assault with a weapon and uttering threats in Whistler on Dec. 20, 2009, obstruction of a police officer on May 30 in Vancouver and possession of stolen property from July 26. He was also under a condition not to consume alcohol outside his residence.
The male was held the next day, was interviewed by a Justice of the Peace and taken to court in North Vancouver in relation to the warrants and for breaching his release conditions.
Man arrested, guns confiscated
Just after 9 p.m. on Christmas Day the RCMP received a call from the girlfriend of a man who was threatened with a firearm a few hours earlier in the evening. The RCMP investigated and attended the address they were given and arrested a 32-year-old Whistler male without incident. They found him in possession of a prohibited weapon - a set of brass knuckles - and took his gun licences and several legal firearms from the residence. He was charged for possession of a prohibited weapon.
Police seeking tool thief
On Dec. 22 at 10:24 a.m. the police received a call from the 2300 block of Cheakamus Way in Bayshores regarding a van that had been broken into the previous evening. Between 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 and about 7 a.m. on Dec. 22 a thief broke into the parked van and took a tool bag containing roughly $4,000 worth of equipment. The contractor is providing a list of stolen tools to the RCMP to help with the investigation.
If you saw anything you can contact the RCMP at 604-932-3044 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Prohibited driver stopped
On Dec. 24 at 1:03 a.m. a police patrol car observed a vehicle make a left hand turn from Northlands Boulevard onto Lorimer Road without signaling. They followed the vehicle home and approached the driver to ask for his licence. The male told them he didn't have a licence because it was being renewed, at which point it was discovered that he was a prohibited driver because of an earlier offence. His vehicle was impounded for 30 days.
Christmas Eve revelers end up in cells
In the early morning hours of Dec. 25 the RCMP answered two complaints at the same local nightclub. In the first incident, at about 20 minutes past midnight, a patrol came across a male yelling at the door staff of the nightclub. The male indicated that he and his brother were assaulted by the door staff, although the door staff provided a different version of events. The police are collecting statements from independent witnesses as part of their investigation.
Two hours later the police attended the same club to find the door staff in conflict with another patron. That patron was arrested for causing a disturbance and spent the rest of the night in RCMP cells. The police are also investigating and obtaining statements.
One for the ditch
On Dec. 26 at 9:30 p.m. the police received a report of a single vehicle involved in an accident at the entrance to Brio, after the driver steered a vehicle into a water-filled ditch. The RCMP attended and arrested a male for impaired driving. At the detachment the 37-year-old male from Whistler provided samples of .190 and .180 per cent blood alcohol content, or more than twice the legal limit. The driver is now facing charges.
On Dec. 27, the police in Pemberton observed a vehicle in the ditch on Clover Road. They found the driver nearby calling a tow truck and detected an odour of liquor. After the driver provided a story that conflicted with the evidence at the scene the police asked him to provide a sample into their approved roadside screening device, which he failed. A 21-year-old male from New Westminster was given a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day impoundment.