Fort Frances OPP Report on Vehicle Break-ins, Shoplifting and Property Crimes

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Police - OPP Cruiser

Fort Frances – NEWS – Between the 23 and the 25 of September 2021, Fort Frances Detachment OPP officers were called to two separate shoplifting occurrences, a theft of money ($5 in loose change) from a motor vehicle and an adult male reported rummaging through several mailboxes. A male culprit was described as male, approximately 5’5″ tall, stocky build, wearing a ball cap, work pants and a backpack. Police are seeking possible leads for these investigations.

As well the Fort Frances Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have responded to numerous break, enter, thefts and mischiefs occurring between September 23-27, 2021. The OPP would like to make the public aware of ongoing investigations and proactive steps to prevent theft of property.

On 26 September 2021, officers were called to a Christie Avenue North location after home owners were alerted to an adult male and two adult female culprits breaking into their vehicle. The home owner confronted the culprits which resulted in the male culprit threatening the home owner with a knife before fleeing into the bush. Members of the Fort Frances OPP responded immediately and contained the area while Northwest Region Emergency Response and Canine Unit attended to conduct a K-9 search of the area. The search had negative results. Police are currently following up with promising leads to this investigation.

On 26 September 2021, at 5:15 am, a vehicle owner near the 1100 block of Scott Street contacted police to report an unknown male was banging on the side of her recreational vehicle and then broke the side mirror. Officers arrived on scene within minutes of the call but were unable to locate the culprit described as a male, approximately 18 – 22 years old, heavy set, approximately 6′ tall, wearing jeans, grey hoodie and carrying a backpack. A Twitter post on OPP North West Region page was made at the time of the call to alert the public of ongoing mischief investigations taking place during the nightshift.

On 26 September 2021, a home owner on the 700 block of Morrison Avenue contacted police to advise unknown culprit(s) broke into their vehicle and took the vehicle registration, over-the-counter medication and emptied the glove box of belongings. The vehicle was unlocked. Police are seeking leads to this investigation.

On 27 September 2021 at 3:16 am, while conducting a foot patrol in the area of 1000 block of Walker Avenue, officers found two females trespassing on numerous properties, lurking around garages and attempting to break into a vehicle. When officers confronted the two females and placed them under arrest, a male suspect emerged from the property and was also arrested. Officers recognized him from an earlier break, enter and theft occurrence. As a result of this investigation, two females and one male all from Fort Frances, ON have been charged accordingly.  Ashley GAUTHIER (age 30 yrs), Mary Louise DAVIS (age 28 yrs) and Anthony THOMPSON (age 26 yrs), have been charged with one count each of Possession of Stolen Property contrary to Section 335(b) Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) and Trespass by Night contrary to Section 177 CCC.  Both THOMPSON and DAVIS were also re-arrested on the strength of outstanding Bench Warrants for charges stemming from a Break and Enter occurring on 16 August 2021 in Fort Frances, ON. THOMPSON and DAVIS have been released on a Form 10 Undertaking before a Peace Officer, while GAUTHIER was remanded into custody as a result of a bail hearing held on the 27th of September 2021. Further follow up is being conducted in attempt to locate owners of the recovered stolen property (see attached photos).

Officers noted that on both 26 and 27 October 2021, suspects were pulling a wheeled wagon with them as they went from property to property stealing belongings.  Stolen and recovered belongings included items such as hand saws, power saws, drills, duffle bags, tool boxes, credit/debit cards, wagons, computer docking stations, beer, plyers, pop, money and clothing.

Members of the public are reminded to secure vehicles and personal belongings when not in use. Sergeant Ann McEwen advised, “police will continue to focus their patrols on suspicious activity however it takes a community to work together to prevent crime. The OPP remind the public to “Lock It or Lose It!“. Do not leave personal belongings unattended and keep vehicles, garages and homes locked when not in use”.