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Police following leads in rent scam


RCMP are still investigating the probable theft of at least $2,300 from Whistler employees who were apparently taken by a rental scam.

At least two groups of locals answered an ad for long term accommodation in the Aug. 24 Pique pertaining to an apartment above the Village Square liquor store.

"We’ve got some leads we’re working on, and hopefully something will transpire shortly," says Corporal Tim Chad of the Whistler detachment. "We’re still investigating." The unit is currently listed as unoccupied.

Two Sushi Ya employees from Japan toured the unit Friday, Aug. 24 and gave a man posing as the landlord $1,000 in cash as a security deposit. They received a receipt and were told to come back the next day to pick up the key. When the man did not show up or answer his cell phone, they contacted the police.

On the same Friday, two employees of Monk’s Grill in their early 20s and a younger relative who is a newcomer to Whistler gave the man a $1,300 cash deposit in exchange for an official document, which turned out to be nothing more than an official application for tenancy.

They discovered the scam when they returned to work and told another co-worker about their apartment. The co-worker told them that he had made an appointment to see the same apartment the following day.

After contacting the police they went back the next day at the time of the scheduled meeting, accompanied by Monk’s manager Beverly Brown.

There they met yet another resort employee with $1,500 in his pocket.

They did manage to contact the man on Saturday afternoon, and he said he was held up in the city.

According to the RCMP there were only two reported incidences. RCMP remind employees to avoid using cash unless there is a lease and a key. Most reputable landlords will accept post-dated cheques for rent and deposit.