Submitted by Cpl. L-P. Gendron-Fafard
Columbia Valley RCMP
This past week, May 21st through to May 27th, the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to 75 calls for service. Here are a few examples of the files that were handled by our officers this week:
• On Tuesday, May 22nd, the Columbia Valley RCMP was called to assist the Invermere Fire Department with a suspicious fire in the women’s restroom behind the Eddie Memorial Arena. The fire was quickly extinguished and the damage was limited to a garbage can, a paper dispenser and some smoke damage to the facility. Investigation by the Invermere Fire Department revealed a key piece of evidence that provided police a boost for their investigation. Through work in the community our investigator was able to identify the four culprits. One female teenager was arrested and released on various related conditions and three more arrests are expected in the coming days.
• On Friday, May 25th, the Columbia Valley RCMP took a report of a male who had been defrauded of nearly $2,000. The male indicated that he received what he believed to be a phonecall from the Canada Revenue Agency who stated he got audited for the last 5 years and had to pay within the next hour or else there would be a warrant for his arrest. The male complied by the deadline and failed to fact check and obliged by buying several iTunes gift cards.
• On Saturday, May 26th, at approximately 2:25 a.m., officers with the Columbia Valley RCMP were on patrol in the area of 8th Avenue and 13th Street and observed a White Mercedes SUV failing to stop at a stop sign in the area. Officers quickly turned around and found the vehicle parked on the side of the street with all of their occupants out and walking away. All four occupants were spoken to and quickly identified their driver as one of them. However, the identified male was adamant that his friends were wrong and that a fifth person ran away. The male indicated that he had drinks that evening and had to provide a sample of his breath. The first sample was a fail and the right to a second attempt was deemed to be withdrawn after 11 failed attempts to provide a sample. The driver was issued a 90 days Immediate Road Prohibition and the vehicle was impounded for 90 days.
• On Sunday, May 27th, Columbia Valley RCMP and emergency services were called for a collision between a motorcycle and a deer in Kootenay National Park. A witness saw the deer jump out on the highway and the motorcyclist attempted to avoid the deer but was unable to do so and collided with same. The driver was taken to the Invermere Hospital and then later transferred to the Kelowna area in order to address his non-life threatening injuries.
Last week was marked with numerous visits and calls to our office from concern citizens regarding cold calls from individuals identifying themselves as Canada Revenue Agency employees. We had to reassure a few people that there were no arrest warrants for tax evasion nor that the RCMP will break down their doors. One caller also reported that the fraudster had used our office telephone number to hide their numbers. Our officers do not have any information about your taxes. The following should be taken into consideration if you want to re-assure yourself that you are speaking with an actual Canada Revenue Tax agent:
• never requests prepaid credit cards;
• never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence;
• never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and
• never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine.
When in doubt, ask yourself the following:
• Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding?
• Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return?
• How did the requester get my email address or telephone number?
• Am I confident I know who is asking for the information?
I’ll be away for the next couple of weeks as I’ll be deployed for security details at the G7 summit in Charlevoix region in Quebec. Cpl. Ayers will be taking back the duties of leading our detachment after some well earned “rest”.
Have a good week!