Police beat: Fergus theft

FERGUS – Police are once again asking for the public’s help to solve a local theft even though they won’t to say where it occurred. 

In an April 2 press release, Wellington County OPP officials stated police are “investigating a theft from a retailer on St. David Street North” (Highway 6) in Fergus.

Police say that on March 22 at about 6:30pm, “three suspects entered the store and stole over $7,000, before leaving in a silver [SUV].”

The press release seems to suggest the thieves stole cash, but an OPP post on Twitter (now called X) indicates the thieves actually stole several different brands of ear buds/head phones.

It’s not clear why the press release did not state what was stolen and it’s also unknown why it took police 11 days to issue a press release about the incident.

Police did not identify the store that was targeted in the theft and when asked by the Advertiser, spokesperson Josh Cunningham stated, “We won’t be identifying the victim at this time.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the OPP or Crime Stoppers.

Driver, business charged

HARRISTON – On March 1 at about 9:15am, a Wellington County OPP officer conducted a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspection of a black pickup truck and trailer on Elora Street South here. 

A 59-year-old driver from Cargill and a Cargill business face a total of 11 CMV charges, including improperly securing a load, improper means of attachment, overweight vehicle and improper brakes on a trailer.

Another one

ELORA – On March 1 at about 12:30pm, a Wellington County OPP officer conducted a CMV inspection of a black pickup truck and trailer on Wellington Road 21 here. 

A 40-year-old driver from Dunnville and a Beamsville business face a total of 13 CMV charges, including drawing a trailer with no plate, failing to surrender a completed daily inspection report, overweight vehicle and permitting a person with an improper licence to drive a CMV.

 Tips to avoid fraud

ORILLIA – OPP officials say they continue to receive reports from victims contacted by fraudsters claiming to be either bank investigators from their financial institution, local law enforcement, or one of their online merchants.

“In these cases, the victim is told that there have been suspicious charges on their bank card, credit card or online bank accounts,”  police stated in a March 27 press release from OPP headquarters in Orillia.

“Fraudsters state that the charge is either from an online purchase, in-store transaction or an overseas transfer. The fraudsters ask the victim for their bank or credit card information in order to ‘cancel the transaction.’

“In some cases, the victim is asked to place their bank cards or credit cards in an envelope marked with the PIN code to be picked up by the fraudulent bank investigator, which is to be replaced with a new card.”

Police say fraudsters may ask for the victim’s assistance in an ongoing “investigation” against the criminals who compromised the victim’s accounts. 

“The fraudsters request the victim to deposit or send their funds overseas as part of the ‘investigation,’” police stated. “It is not until the transfers are completed that the victim realizes there was never any compromise to their accounts.”

It is estimated that only five to 10 per cent of victims report frauds to the CAFC or law enforcement.

Police have offered the following tips to protect oneself from fraud;

– financial institutions or online merchants will never request the transfer of funds to an external account;

– if you get a call claiming to be from your financial institution, advise the caller that you will call them back. End the call and dial the number on the back of your bank or credit card – from a different phone if possible, or wait 10 minutes before making the outgoing call;

– fraudsters use call-spoofing technology to mislead victims. Do not assume phone numbers on your call display are accurate; and

– never provide remote access to your computer or smart phone.

If someone suspects they have been a victim of fraud, they should report it to a police service and the CAFC at 1-888-495-8501 or online on the Fraud Reporting System, even if a financial loss did not occur.