After receiving a tip from a Creekside-area business, the RCMP apprehended a man in the Marketplace at 3:25 p.m. on Jan. 6 and arrested him for breach of his probation conditions, specifically an order not to purchase or possess alcohol.
On further investigation it was revealed that the man was in possession of five fraudulent credit cards and property purchased with the cards, and receipts indicating three frauds in Sea to Sky.
The man, identified as a 31-year-old male from Richmond, has been charged with two counts of failing to comply, fraud from a business in Whistler, two counts of fraud for businesses in Creekside, fraud at a Squamish business, possession of property obtained by crime and five counts of possessing fraudulent credit cards. The police are investigating the suspect for making up to $7,000 in fraudulent purchases from a store in Squamish over a period of weeks and more charges may be laid.
The man has two prior arrests in recent years. In 2009 he was arrested and convicted for assault in Alberta, and released with the condition not to possess alcohol and to abstain from the consumption of alcohol. In June of 2010 he was arrested for mischief, breach and harassment in Abbotsford, and was also given the condition not to consume or possess alcohol.
The male was held in custody and taken to Vancouver to answer the breach charges.
According to the RCMP he was using the fraudulent credit cards to purchase liquor and Visa gift cards.
Snowstorm leads to three rollovers
The slush turned to ice quickly on Friday evening, Jan. 7, resulting in three motor vehicle accident reports within 40 minutes on Highway 99 north of the village.
The first report came in on 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Highway 99 on Emerald Drive, where a northbound Toyota Tacoma slid across the centre line, then back over the northbound lane into the ditch where it rolled over on its side.
The driver, described as a 52-year-old Whistler female, was not injured and no charges were laid. The police attended the scene and noted that the road was too slippery to even walk on safely, and called in a salt truck.
But 15 minutes later the RMP received a report of another rollover where a northbound vehicle ended up in the southbound ditch near the helipad. Again, there were no injuries or charges.
The third call came in at 6:07 p.m. and involved a Toyota 4Runner that was heading northbound on the Mons Bridge, crossed the line and crashed into the barrier on the southbound guard rail. The vehicle hit hard enough that the air bags deployed, although the driver was not injured. The damage was estimated in the $15,000 range.
The RCMP warn drivers that conditions can change fast, to always be conscious of conditions while driving and to be aware that ice may be present.
Impaired drivers getting the message?
It's too soon to say what the impact of the Province's new impaired driving laws are having on drivers, but roadside checks in Whistler over the weekend with Sea to Sky Traffic Services and the Whistler detachment netted few impaired drivers - although a few did test in the warn range, resulting in three day driving prohibitions and impoundments.
On Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7:41 p.m. a check at Alta Lake Road and Highway 99 stopped a southbound vehicle, detected alcohol and asked the driver to take the approved roadside screening device. A 41-year-old male from Surrey tested in the "warn" range, resulting in a three-day suspension.
At 8 p.m., the RCMP stopped a novice driver and detected signs of alcohol consumption. The 24-year-old male from Port Coquitlam, had a small amount of alcohol in his system, less than a third of the legal limit of 0.08 per cent blood alcohol content, but under provincial law novice drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems. He was given a 24-hour driving prohibition and a ticket for driving contrary to restrictions.
At 8:40 p.m. a southbound vehicle was stopped where a driver blew a fail on the roadside device. A 36-year-old female from Chilliwack received a 90-day driving prohibition and 30-day impoundment.
On Sunday, Jan. 9 at 1:04 a.m., the road check at Nicklaus North and Highway 99, stopped a vehicle, resulting in a three-day driving prohibition and impoundment for a 23-year-old male from Whistler.
At 1:58 a.m., at Hillcrest and Highway 99, another three-day driving prohibition was given to a 28-year-old male from Washington State.
Just after 11 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9, a road check at Nicklaus North stopped two vehicles, resulting in three-day suspensions for a 48-year-old female from Australia and a 44-year-old male from Burnaby.
Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair of the Whistler RCMP is cautiously optimistic that drivers are getting he message.
"We're seeing the number fall for impaired and more people in the warn range," he confirmed. "I should point out that our (roadside screening) devices were recalibrated to show a warn at (0.06 per cent blood alcohol content from 0.05 per cent), so the numbers are still pretty high. We will be happy when everybody is breathing below warn, that's our goal."
Charges on the way in rental scan
The Whistler RCMP are wrapping up their investigation and preparing fraud charges against a man who defrauded 21 people out of roughly $13,000 in cash in a rental scan. The man advertised a room for sublet on the 6100 block of Eagle Drive, taking damage deposits from renters in the $500 range. When the renters arrived they discovered that the room was already occupied.
The male suspect was from out-of-country, and the RCMP say they knew where he was at one time. If the charges go through they may try to extradite the man back to Canada.
"You have to stoop pretty low to do something like that, and take advantage of all these young people coming to Whistler," said Staff Sgt. LeClair. "And to have this as their first experience here is really disappointing."
Watch your possessions
The RCMP have received a half dozen complaints about skis and snowboards going missing in the Village and on the mountains in the last week, and are reminding people to lock up their gear or at the least separate their skis to deter thieves. None of the stolen items were locked up.
They also received one report where a black StepChild snowboard and bindings with a replacement value of $1,300 were stolen from a locker in a Village hotel on Main Street. The report came in on Jan. 4, and the theft likely occurred on Jan. 1 or 2.
As well, the RCMP are warning young people hosting house parties to be vigilant after receiving three reports of items stolen from homes by thieves mixing in with party-goers, such as cell phones and sunglasses.