Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for 2020-09-14

This week’s topics:

  • Fraud and snow removal – List of charged companies.
  • Sophia Hennessey is missing.
  • James Little is missing.
  • Swimming safety signage – Too many drownings, signs added at Bate Island, Prince of Wales railway bridge, etc.
  • Back to school road safety enforcement.
  • Thinking about a career in policing?


If you’re interested in helping out, see our Neighbourhood Watch Page.

– Alex

—– Forwarded Message —–
Subject: Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin for September 14, 2020
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2020 18:43:14 -0400
From: Darren Joseph <wellingtoncpc@gmail.com>

1.  Fraud and snow removal

The Ottawa Police Service Fraud Unit conducted investigations into three Ottawa-based Snow Removal companies – Snow Vaporizers, Faul Properties and Altitude Snow Removal, from the winter of 2019/2020 in relation to fraud allegations made from members of the public.

The investigations revealed that the companies fraudulently obtained money for snow removal services from residents of the City of Ottawa. Funds were obtained by cash, cheque, e-transfer and credit card. According to the reports made to the Ottawa Police Service, little to no snow removal service was provided after payment was made. The companies operated independently and are not connected to each other.

The Ottawa Police Service Fraud Unit has proceeded with the following charges:

  • Snow Vaporizers – owner Michael LABRECQUE, 29 years old, obtained approximately $34500 and is facing 7 counts of obtaining money by false pretence not exceeding $5000 and 7 counts of fraud not exceeding $5000
  • Faul Properties – owner Alexandre ALBUQUERQUE-BUSSIERES, 40 years old, obtained approximately $3300 and is facing 11 counts of obtaining money by false pretence not exceeding $5000 and 11 counts of fraud not exceeding $5000
  • Altitude Snow Removal – owner Nataliano PETRINI-WOOLLEY, 28 years old, obtained approximately $7000 and is facing 7 counts of obtaining money by false pretence not exceeding $5000 / 7 counts of fraud not exceeding $5000

The Ottawa Police Service Fraud Unit is concerned that there are additional victims that have not made reports to the police. If you were a victim of Snow vaporizers, Faul Properties, or Altitude Snow Removal, please consider making an online report to the Ottawa Police Service.

The Ottawa Police Service Fraud Unit would also like to remind the public to consider asking more questions in relation to snow removal companies as winter approaches. The best price and / or promise may be too good to be true. Consider doing research on the company you’re interested in to see if they are licenced, well known, have the capabilities and are reliable.

2.  Sophia Hennessey is missing

The Ottawa Police Service Missing Persons Section is asking for public assistance to locate missing Sophia Hennessey, 19 years old, of Ottawa.  Her family is worried for her safety.

Sophia is described as a Caucasian female, 5’6” (168 cm), shoulder length brown hair, brown eyes, possibly wearing glasses.  No clothing description available at this time.

She was reported missing on September 13 and last seen in the area of Davidson Road on September 12 at 5:00pm.

Anyone with information about the current whereabouts of Sophia is asked to call the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222.

If you have information that could assist investigators, but do not know where she is currently, please contact the Missing Persons Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 2355, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, daily.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477, or crimestoppers.ca

3.  James Little is missing

The Ottawa Police Service is asking for the public’s assistance in locating missing, James Little, of Ottawa. He was last seen this morning in the 800 block of Merivale Road.  James is autistic and can answer basic questions. His family is concerned for his safety.

James is described as a Caucasian man 5’6” (168cm), medium build with short dark brown hair. He is wearing an orange shirt with the word “crush” across the front, black track pants and a Super Mario baseball cap.

Anyone with information about the current whereabouts of James is asked to call the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222.

If you have information that could assist investigators, but do not know where he is currently, please contact the Missing Persons Unit 613-236-1222, ext. 2355, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, daily.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca

4.  Swimming safety signage

Tragically, five lives have been lost to preventable open-water drownings so far this summer in Ottawa.

In most of these cases, a major contributing factor was the fact that the victims adventured themselves in unknown waters with little to no knowledge of river water hydrodynamics without wearing proper personal flotation devices (PFD).

To increase awareness of the dangers of swimming and boating in open water, the Ottawa Drowning Prevention Coalition (ODPC), the office of the Regional Supervising Coroner with East Region – Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC), the Ottawa Police Marine, Dive and Trails Unit and the City of Ottawa are partnering to erect notice signs in predetermined high risk areas throughout the City in the hope of saving lives.

“Facing a very difficult swimming season with COVID-19 in our community, we were bracing for bad news with the unknown opening of supervised swimming areas,” said Christine Wagg, Chair of the Ottawa Drowning Prevention Coalition. “Fortunately we did see the lifeguards at regional beaches and municipal pools thanks to the City of Ottawa and the NCC.  However, we did see tragic losses on our rivers this summer.  We are hoping that the signage at Bate Island will make visitors aware of the dangers in this area of the river.  Swimming in unknown waters or accidentally finding yourself in swift water can have someone quickly in a dangerous situation.  The ODPC encourages swimming in supervised areas, to wear a life jacket in a water vessel to ensure a safe trip for all.”

“The Office of the Chief Coroner/Ontario Forensic Pathology Service strongly supports this initiative of signage at Bate Island and other areas of public use in the Ottawa area,” said Dre Louise McNaughton-Filion, Regional Supervising Coroner with East Region – Ottawa. “Public education, along with identifying areas of drowning risk, can help prevent future water-related deaths.”

With the first phase of this drowning prevention campaign, a total of six new signs have been erected on Bate Island. These signs will soon be accompanied by four deployable life rings/buoys placed in strategic areas on the Island to be accessed in case of emergency.

In the second stage, further signage will be erected in other key strategic areas of our City, including at Prince of Wales Bridge and Vimy Bridge.

“A lot of people are used to swimming pools and aren’t aware of the currents and undertows that exist in open water,” said Cst. Tommy Jellinek, with the Ottawa Police Marine Dive and Trails Unit and a member of ODPC. “Even strong swimmers can be overwhelmed. That’s why, even if you are on a vessel, you need to wear a life-jacket. If you don’t know the water, don’t go!”

5.  Back to school road safety enforcement

The Ottawa Police Traffic Unit along with Frontline and Neighborhood Resource Team Officers completed their first week of Back to School Road Safety enforcement.

A total of 91 drivers were stopped for Speeding and 38 drivers Failed to stop at a stop sign in various school zones across the City this week.

This morning, a driver was stopped and charged, going 104 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. Officers charged two drivers for driving while suspended and one driver was charged for driving under a lifetime driving ban. This driver had been prohibited from driving since 2007.

Ottawa Police Traffic will continue to conduct enforcement in school areas throughout the start of the school year.

6.  Thinking about a career in policing?

If you are thinking of applying to become a police officer, have already applied, or are in the selection process, join one of the Ottawa Police Service’s virtual recruitment information sessions on Instagram for useful tips and information!

“We are pleased to offer virtual information sessions on the second Wednesday of every month to attract the most talented and diverse potential candidates as possible,” says Sgt. Maria Keen, a member of the Ottawa Police Service Recruitment Team and a session presenter. “Participating from the comfort of your own home means that anyone living anywhere in Canada can join in, which has boosted ‘attendance’ significantly. That’s an impressive pool of candidates to draw upon when it comes to hiring the best people to serve our community.”

Ottawa Police Service recruiters take potential candidates through the recruitment process, provide valuable tips for interviews and show participants how to stand out in a competitive job market. Potential candidates can ask questions and get answers in real time.

There is no registration required; just use your Instagram account and follow Ottawa_Police_Recruiting. 

The Outreach and Recruiting team is committed to the Ottawa Police’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan and to finding the best candidates to serve our community. Monthly virtual information sessions are just one of the tools we are using to attract diverse and qualified applicants from across the country. The Ottawa Police also offers a virtual ride-along and mentorship program pairing potential recruits (particularly those from traditionally marginalized neighbourhoods) with veteran officers to help guide them through the application process. In 2020, the Ottawa Police hired its most diverse group of new recruits ever, to better reflect the diversity of our community.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information, visit us at ottawapolice.ca.

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Contact Cst. Darren Joseph directly (west of O-Train, Line 2) at josephd@ottawapolice.ca

Contact Cst. Stephanie Lemieux (east of O-Train, Line 2) at lemieuxs@ottawapolice.ca

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