Police beat: OPP seeks three suspects in grow-op home invasion

ERIN – Police are looking for help to identify three home invasion suspects looking for more than the usual Halloween treats.

On Oct. 31 at about 10:55pm, Wellington County OPP officers responded to a call at a house located on the property of a large legal marijuana growing operation in Erin.

“It was determined that three unknown suspects, one armed with a handgun, entered a residence through an unlocked rear door and demanded marijuana from the homeowners,” police stated in a press release.

Police say “a brief scuffle ensued,” during which “one of the victims was assaulted and received minor injuries.”

The suspects left empty-handed in a “dark-coloured car with loud exhaust” that was last seen heading east.

Police described the three suspects as:

– male, black, wearing a black puffy jacket and carrying a backpack;

– male, black, heavy set, approximately 21 to 24 years old, clean shaven, about six feet tall; and

– male, black, light complexion, approximately 5’6’ wearing a dark coloured mask partially covering the lower half of his face.

OPP officers, including the Major Crime Unit and Forensic Identification Unit, are investigating and ask anyone with information to call 1-888-310-1122.

To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line at www.csgw.tips. Tip providers may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.

Man missing

GUELPH-ERAMOSA – Police are looking for help to locate a local man who has been missing for almost a week.

On Oct. 30 Wellington County OPP received a missing person report from a concerned family member.

Police say Mark McDonald, 57, of Guelph-Eramosa, was last seen in Burlington on Oct. 25.

He is described as Caucasian, 5’9” with an average build, medium-length grey/white hair, a full white beard, blue eyes and glasses, wearing blue jeans and black boots.

McDonald drives a green 2011 Dodge pick-up truck with a cap cover and is accompanied by his German shepherd Penny, police say.

“[The] OPP and his family are concerned for his well-being and are asking for the public’s assistance in locating him,” police stated.

Man charged after police find $28,000 in drugs

PALMERSTON – A Palmerston man faces numerous charges after police found close to $30,000 worth of drugs in his car following a routine check during a RIDE program.

On Oct. 19 at about 10:30pm, Huron, Perth and Wellington County OPP were operating a RIDE program in  Palmerston.

Police say officers spoke to male driver and observed suspected drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Further investigation revealed that the driver was in possession of a controlled substance, police add.   

Darryl Dwarika, 41, of Palmerston, was charged with possession of a prohibited device (brass knuckles), possession of an imitation weapon for a dangerous purpose, and two counts of possession of a Schedule I substance for the purpose of trafficking (methamphetamine and cocaine).

The driver was held for a bail hearing in London court on Oct. 20.

On Oct. 26 OPP officers executed a search warrant on property seized during the traffic stop and seized suspected methamphetamine and cocaine valued at $28,000 as well as further drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Police continue to investigate this incident. Anyone with information can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip at www.csgw.tips.

Death investigation

ERIN – On Nov. 1 at about 5:30am emergency crews responded to a medical assistance call at a residence on Sideroad 10 here.

Police say one man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

“Police do not suspect foul play. Wellington County OPP are continuing to investigate,” police stated in a press release. “The Office of the Chief Coroner was notified and will be attending.”

Police say the identity of the man will not be released at the request of the family.

Online security

ORILLIA – There are ways to maintain online security and avoid being scammed when shopping online, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Online shopping is convenient and popular with consumers, but it also increases the likelihood shoppers will be financially victimized, police state.

To stay safe while shopping online, police recommend:

– verify the business and read their reviews;

– check that the URL for the site begins with ‘https’, making it secure;

– understand the terms and conditions for payment, returns and warranties;

– monitor your financial statements regularly for any fraudulent charges;

– create strong passwords and change frequently; and

– use private WI-FI for transactions.

For helpful tips and links, follow the OPP on Twitter (@OPP_News), Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #CyberAware.

For scams and/or fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

If you or someone you know have been a victim of digital or online cybercrime, contact your local police service.