Police are asking the public for help identifying a man who reportedly tried to scam a teller at a Whistler bank last week.
At about 4 p.m. last Wednesday, June 7, two males entered a local bank, where one attempted to exchange bills at the counter, while the other tried to distract the teller. Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes said the suspect “took the money and then tried to say that he wanted his original (money) back, therefore keeping both (amounts of cash).”
The teller quickly recognized the scam and refused to give the man his cash back, police said.
The suspect was reportedly involved in a similar scam at a Squamish bank earlier that day that was ultimately successful, making out with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
The RCMP has released security footage of the man in the hopes of identifying him. Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact the Whistler RCMP at 604-932-3044 or Sea to Sky Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.
Roadblock leads to arrest, seizure of suspected ecstasy
A routine roadblock last week led police to arrest a driver who had failed a screening test and was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance.
At about midnight on Saturday, June 9, the man approached a roadblock at the intersection of Lorimer Road and Highway 99 in a Subaru Outback. Having suspicions of intoxication, officers administered a roadside screening test, which the driver failed. The man was found to be in breach of conditions as he was not in possession of a driver’s license, and was arrested.
A subsequent search of the suspect uncovered a number of white tablets believed to be ecstasy, police said.
The man was eventually released with a 24-hour driving suspension and a promise to appear in court on charges of breaching conditions and possession of a controlled substance.
“Police are reminding motorists that impaired driving remains a Detachment priority and those who choose to drive while impaired can expect no leniency,” a release stated.
Canada Revenue scam claims another victim
Police are warning of a phone scam that sees the caller pose as a Canada Revenue agent after the ruse claimed another victim in Pemberton last week.
On June 5, an individual notified Pemberton RCMP to say they had received a call from someone falsely threatening arrest for back taxes owed. With this type of scam, which is more common during tax season, police said the caller will typically ask the victim to purchase prepaid Apple or iTunes gift cards in large quantities. They will then instruct the victim to peel off the security covers on the cards and provide them with serial numbers over the phone.
A similar incident occurred April 30 when a Whistler woman reportedly transferred nearly $10,000 in cash through a Bitcoin machine to scammers posing as tax agents. In that instance, the scammers also demanded the victim purchase pre-paid gift cards.
RCMP has advised all retail outlets that sell prepaid gift cards in the Pemberton area to be vigilant and warn any customers of the scam who are purchasing large quantities of the cards at a time.
The Canada Revenue Agency will never send payment notices or ask for sensitive information through email, texts or phone calls. Notices are delivered by mail, or through the CRA website’s “My Account” services.
The RCMP, which began tracking CRA scams four years ago, report that there have been over 56,000 complaints to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and a reported loss of over $10 million since 2014.
Cops for Cancer fundraiser at Creekbread
On Thursday, June 14, the Whistler RCMP is inviting the public to donate to Cops for Cancer while enjoying some gourmet pizza.
The fundraiser will be held at Creekbread from 5 p.m. until close, with a portion of all pizza sales being donated to Cops for Cancer. The event will also feature a number of silent auction prizes donated by local businesses.
Cops for Cancer is an annual event that sees police officers and other emergency personnel cycling to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. The local event, Tour de Coast, spans 800 kilometres, covering the Sea to Sky, the Sunshine Coast, and part of the Lower Mainland. It’s scheduled for Sept. 19 to 27.