Peterborough Police Service have assisted in a joint investigation with Homeland Security that has lead to the arrest of a Louisiana man charged with a sextortion scheme involving children.
Here's how police worked with other forces to crack the case:
In November of 2014, Peterborough Police Service Constable Stephen Cox attended an address in Lakefield and spoke with a 12-year-old girl who was being extorted through an online app for nude images by an adult male.
Detective Ryan Wilson of the Peterborough Police Service conducted a follow-up and obtained a suspect’s IP address by means of a Production Order and determined that the suspect resided in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The reports of Constable Cox and Detective Wilson were forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security in Ottawa and eventually to the Baton Rouge field office in Louisiana.
The District Attorney in the State of Louisiana advised Peterborough Police that because of their investigation, a warrant was executed in Louisiana where at least four other victims were identified in various locations across the United States.
As result of the joint investigation, the accused Matthew Chaney Walker, 25, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is facing a number of charges including extortion, production of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography and forfeiture.
“The work of Constable Cox and Detective Wilson was exemplary and demonstrates the benefits of both our generalist philosophy and collaborative approach,” says Detective Staff Sergeant Lynne Buehler, Peterborough Police Service.
“The benefits of our force having a member of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet is apparent in this case. Detective Wilson represented our Service with the highest professionalism, which contributed to the successful investigation and prosecution of this case,” adds Detective Buehler.
The investigation of this case is ongoing. To date, four female child victims have been identified and law enforcement is attempting to confirm the identity of other victims.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim is encouraged to call the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122.
During the past week, Peterbororough Police have received a number of complaints from concerned citizens about a Peterborough Utilities (PUC) representative calling saying they had an overdue account that needed to be settled.
Here's how the scam works...
1. People were asked on the phone to obtain a money order and send it to a provided address.
2. A phone number is provided and when called, it is answered by a "Hydro Billing Dept".
This is not a legitimate phone number or PUC representative, police say. This scam has also been reported in Toronto, Whitby and Thunder Bay.
PUC has also tweeted out about the scam, warning the public...
Peterborough's STRUTT Central has launched an "Unmask the silence" campaign to raise awareness about the number of Indigenous women who are going missing and being murdered at a much higher rate than other women in Canada—a rate so high it constitutes nothing less than a national human rights crisis.
STRUTT's program was undertaken with young girls from the Cree Nation of Wemindji to spread awareness on this crisis. The impactful photographs below (and above) from the series were taken by Paisley Spence Photography. The campaign was directed by Christina Abbott, who tells us the backstory for how it came together in this photo essay below...
Christina Abbott... "I was working with Mickey Decarlo, a First Nations Woman in our community, and her group of young Cree women. Mickey serves as a mental health worker at the Cree Nation of Wemindji Wellness and Culture Program. She meets with the girls individually every week to discuss issues concerning them over lunch."
Abbott... "Mickey, who lives in Peterborough, brings the girls from Wemindji to Peterborough at least once a year, and arranges fun and meaningful activities for them while they're here in town. Amnesty international states that: 'Indigenous women are going missing and being murdered at a much higher rate than other women in Canada—a rate so high it constitutes nothing less than a national human rights crisis.' As a First Nations woman, Mickey sought to educate the girls on the seriousness of this crisis by challenging them to picture the effects of similar tragedies on their family and/or loved ones."
Abbott... "Together, we decided to make an awareness campaign as so many, including myself, have gone years without knowledge of the extent or severity of the crisis affecting Aboriginal women. By asking the girls to act as models in campaign photos showcasing facts and figures on the crisis, we endeavoured to educate them on the dangers they may face, as well as spreading awareness beyond their community."
Abbott... "The butterfly is the national symbol behind the struggle to combat this crisis; it represents the individual beauty of each woman that is missing. In our images, the butterfly mask being removed symbolizes the unmasking of the cold hard facts that we all need to face together. We want Canadians to see the plight of these women as though they were our sisters."
View more photos in the striking series below...
You can view the entire photo essay here on the campaign. (Hair and Makeup by STRUTT Beauty's Jasher Guiel, Carolyn Abbott, Brandy Aston, Jacqueline Hoss, Christina Abbott. Creative Direction by Christina Abbott. Research facts by Camellia Shaw.)
Please spread the word about this campaign on your social media channels.
Peterborough County OPP announced Tuesday (December 30th) the province is offering a $50,000 reward for anyone that can provide info that will help solve the mystery of missing Peterborough woman Lorraine Roach. Roach has been missing since May 11th, 2013 after leaving her home on Hilliard Street in Selwyn Township, and her minivan was found a couple days later on Ackison Road south of Lily Lake Road just west of Peterborough. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance, and extensive police searches in the area have turned up nothing.
OPP "believe strongly" that someone knows something about Roach’s disappearance, and that this reward will motivate someone to come forward. Roach was 58 years old at the time of her disappearance.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Peterborough County OPP at (705) 742-0401, the OPP Communication Centre at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
Peterborough Police have issued a Fraud Alert regarding an Ontario Energy Group representative. On September 30th, a Ontario Energy Group representative approached an elderly victim at his King George Street home. The representative from the company was able to convince the victim to let him into his home and inspect his furnace. The rep then advised the victim that his furnace was not up to code and that he had to purchase a new furnace immediately. The victim’s furnace was only 10 years old while the average life span of a furnace can be anywhere from 16 to 25 years. The company then removed the victim’s furnace and replaced it with a newer model but a model of significantly lesser value. Anyone who has been approached by Ontario Energy Group representatives in the last few months is asked to call Constable Patricia Shaw at 705-876-1122 ext. 214. (Note: Ontario Energy Group is a "legit" company, but "the issue is that they use 'strong arm tactics' so it is fair to say their sales tactics are not legit," police tell us.)
Police remind citizens of the following...
• If someone comes to your door, ask to see some identification showing their name and company they work for. You do not have to let them in, and they must leave if you ask them to.
• Door to door sales people can use high pressure tactics and can be aggressive in nature, and consumers may find themselves in a situation where they purchase a product or sign up for a service they neither need nor want.
• Remember: Even businesses that are licensed could still try to scam you by acting dishonestly.
• Before you decide to pay any money, if you are interested in what a door-to-door salesperson has to offer, take the time to find out about their business and their offer.
• Don’t be rushed into making a decision, there is often a limited time offer where you need to commit to a purchase or service.
• Do not sign a contract that you do not understand, have not fully read or that has blank spaces.
• Ask the sale representative to leave their brochure or business card and you can contact them at a later date if interested.
• In Ontario, Consumers have a 10 day cooling off period where a contract that was signed in their home can be cancelled (for any reason).
• Always get independent advice if an offer involves money, personal information, time or commitment.
***If you spot a scam or have been scammed, get help. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, the Competition Bureau at 1-800-348-5358 or Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service at 705-876-1122.
We don't normally run Police Media Releases, but this one really stuck out. See below...
"On Tuesday September 16, 2014 at approximately 10 p.m. an unknown male brandishing a knife and wearing a mask entered the Talwood Variety store located on Talwood Drive. Once inside the store the male approached an employee who was behind the counter and demanded money. The employee complied and handed over an amount of cash. The suspect then fled the store on foot and was last seen crossing Talwood Drive directly north of the variety store. The employee reported the incident to police and officers, along with a K9 officer, attended the area to search for the suspect. The suspect is described as male, approximately 16 years of age, 5’0” to 5’2”, thin build, 110lbs to 120lbs, wearing a mask, black jeans, burgundy/red hoodie with hood up, black cape, black gloves. Anyone with information is asked to call the Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service at 705-876-1122 ext. 217 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.stopcrimehere.ca"
[via Police Release]
The Peterborough Lakefield Community Police Service has launched an online reporting system for the convenience of communty members. The online reporting system is accessible on their website homepage and is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
The system was developed to assist citizens in reporting minor occurrences where there are no identifiable suspect(s) and the damage or theft value is below $5,000. Completing the online report meets the same reporting requirements as speaking directly to a Police Officer.
An incident number will be generated and provided to the complainant, and the system also provides an opportunity for the individual reporting to later provide a supplemental report should further information come to light. If a suspect is later identified, a Police Officer will investigate as usual. This system is not to be used in emergency situations or when a crime is in progress.