It’s been quiet in the neighbourhood, or so I think, but there are some things occuring on a wider basis. Five or more car thefts to the north of us in Windsor, University and Garneau, along with some break and enters and other crimes in the past month.
Please be alert out there, and report immediately anything that is out of the ordinary.
1. Police Notice
I thought you might be interested to send the link I’ve attached to your Belgravia mail-list for those residents who have young children at home regarding an EPS news release of a high-risk sexual and violent offender.
It was posted on the Edmonton Public School Schoolzone site… http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/News/MediaReleases/Publicinformationandwarning.aspx
2. TAXI SCAM
Please circulate this note about a possible scam so that others in Belgravia can be alerted to this man’s approach.
A customer of Belgravia Books reported that a resident of one of the Belgravia condos was scammed out of $50.00 in a similar incident.
Forewarned is five-armed!
Here’s my report of what happened at Belgravia Books:
I thought you’d like to be alerted to a questionable set-up I recently declined to participate in, just in the event others are approached as I was.
A well dressed, well spoken, infinitely polite bald Caucasian man walked into Belgravia Books about 4:20 p.m. on thursday, 25 Nov., carrying an ivory-coloured garment bag.
He explained that he had just moved to the city and didn’t have a business card with his name on it (and he handed me the business card of a hotel). He had just rented a house at (and he gave an address in McKernan, a very convincing address, exact to the house number). He said that when he went there he found a note on the door from his landlord saying that his landlord was going to be away for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, Newcomer Man had left his key AND HIS WALLET inside the rental unit. Moreover, he had had to leave his luggage outside his new home to come to Belgravia Books.
Now, here’s where the story becomes interesting. At Belgravia Books Newcomer Man said that he needed cab fare to get to Castle Downs where he was going to meet a relative who could [do something for him], and that he was anxious to get to Castle Downs because of the vulnerable luggage.
I wondered aloud whether the LRT would get him to Castle Downs (thinking I could just give him LRT fare). No, he said, he had already checked. Nowhere close.
He offered to leave with me as a token of his good faith the leather jacket he had in the garment bag in return for my lending him (LENDING HIM) cab fare to get to Castle Downs. The jacket was worth SOME GREAT DEAL OF MONEY, and Newcomer Man, naturally, would come back to reclaim it and would repay me the cab fare TWICE OVER.
I, being imbued with the Christmas spirit and appreciative of Newcomer’s distress, reached for my wallet to offer him $20.00. He said he had researched the fare and that it was estimated to be THIRTY DOLLARS.
That’s when I got cold feet. Twenty bucks? Sure, I can be a good sport. BUT KNOWING THE SUM NEEDED — that got my Spidey senses working.
I instead offered to telephone a taxi company to come to Belgravia Books so that Newcomer Man could explain his plight to the driver and let the driver decide on risking a trip up to Castle Downs in return for a two-times reimbursement.
I said I would call Co-Op Taxi from the store on his behalf. He had a cell phone and claimed he could call as easily as I could. I made to hand him the phone number and he said, Is the number [and he rattled off a number]? Yes, indeed, that was the number; i.e., a Newcomer to Edmonton had memorized the phone number of a taxi company I just happened to pull out of the air.
He left after taking a Belgravia Books business card. I thought it was a BIT suspicious that he took a card, but tant pis, as they say in La Belle Province.
Here’s where the story becomes a little less suspicious and makes me think I was a little too hard-nosed in dealing with Newcomer Man’s plight.
Minutes after he left HE CALLED BELGRAVIA BOOKS! He gave me his name, Ryan, and reminded me that he had been in the store a short while ago. Somehow he had solved his problem by arranging for the Castle Downs person to meet him on campus, and all would be well. But, in the meantime, had he left a black glove behind in the store? (I checked where he had been in the store, and on the snow-covered parking lot: nope.) I delivered that news.
He hung up.
I did the Star 69 thing and learned that he had called from 780-819-6993.
So, this well dressed, well spoken, polite, bald Caucasian man is named Ryan, his phone number is 780-819-6993, a convincing Edmonton number for someone who has just moved here.
I hope he gets into his new digs. I hope he’ll be reunited with his luggage and spend a warm evening at home.
And that he’ll find his glove.
I’d be interested in learning whether anyone else in Richard’s ken is aware of similar approaches.
Robert the Nearly Duped!
3. West Ed Incident
*** this happened at WEM this past Sat (Nov 28th) ***
I just wanted to send this out so that everyone is careful this holiday season.
Yesterday my wife was shopping at West Edmonton Mall and parked outside of Entrance 50 near the water park. The area as many of you may know is completely in the open and not covered at all. It was very busy yesterday around 3:00pm and as she was climbing in her truck when she sensed someone behind her. She tried to quickly close the door but two native boys around 16-18 years old stopped the door and pulled out a 6-7 inch hunting knife and demanded her wallet. She pulled out the cash which included both Canadian and American cash in the sum of $100. They also grabbed the wallet which she pleaded with them to get back as it had her Nexus card in it and she didn’t want to lose it. After they looked inside the wallet they threw it back. Our dog was growling in the back of the truck and that didn’t seem to faze them. After they left she went to the cops and later had forensic try and pull prints off her wallet and car door. They were unsuccessful.
She was pretty shaken up yesterday but is ok. I later asked her if there is anything she could offer up as advice to anyone and she said no. She never saw them coming she never had any time to hit the panic button on the keys, if she had mace or anything she wouldn’t have been able to use it because they were in her door. She was parked in a busy parking lot with people all around.
So please be careful this holiday season and watch out anywhere and everywhere.