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.