Wacky po­lice blotter

From the crimes to the ridicu­lous

The Southern Gazette - - COMMUNITY - STEVE BARTLETT

Crime, no wants it in their back­yard but ev­ery­one seems to want it in their news­feed.

Law-break­ers al­ways draw big au­di­ences to our news pages, whether print or on­line.

While there is a lot of in­ter­est in se­ri­ous crimes - mur­ders, sex­ual as­saults, etc. - there is also a huge ap­petite for un­usual crimes, the kind that make you laugh, go “huh,” or text “WTF” to a buddy.

This year, TC Me­dia pub­li­ca­tions across At­lantic Canada cov­ered some doozies that would prompt such re­ac­tions.

Be­low are a few.

A wanted man of his word

Bran­don Mel­bourne be­came a wanted man in Septem­ber af­ter be­ing a no-show for some court dates. The Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary is­sued five ar­rest war­rants and posted it on Face­book.

Some Face­book­ers thought Mel­bourne looked like the sus­pect in a re­cent bank heist.

Mel­bourne took ex­cep­tion, post­ing that he doesn’t look like the bank rob­ber and he wouldn’t “robb” any­body.

To that, the RNC replied: “In the mean­time... we have five war­rants we would like to dis­cuss with you. Please get in touch Bran­don.”

Mel­bourne promised to turn him­self in around 9 p.m.

“Bran­don, we ap­pre­ci­ate you com­ing for­ward call us when you’re ready - we’ll pick you up,” the RNC replied.

Mel­bourne said he had a ride, and had im­por­tant things to do first.

“I’m a man of my word so I’ll see you tonight.”

Mel­bourne kept his prom­ise, turn­ing him­self in around 9:20 p.m.

Safety not al­ways first

A P.E.I. man known as “Mr. Safety” at his lo­cal shoot­ing range was fined $1,250 af­ter the po­lice re­sponded to him fir­ing a shot­gun to scare a neigh­bour’s dog.

James A. Smith, 48, re­ceived the fine af­ter plead­ing guilty to pos­sess­ing a pro­hib­ited weapon and care­less stor­age of a firearm.

A neigh­bour in Nine Mile Creek called 911 Sept. 3 to re­port Smith shoot­ing at his dog.

When Smith heard about the call, he phoned 911 to say his gun had a trig­ger lock on it, that it was on his kitchen ta­ble and that he would be sit­ting out­side wait­ing for po­lice.

Po­lice seized 18 firearms, 12 boxes of am­mu­ni­tion, bows, ar­rows and two small bags of what ap­peared to be mar­i­juana.

Po­lice also found a pro­hib­ited but­ter­fly knife.

Smith had all re­quired li- cences.

Along with the fine and an or­der to for­feit the seized items, Smith will be un­der a weapons ban for eight years.

Card thief steals trust

The bride fig­ures cul­prits sank to a new low in New Water­ford, N.S., when they stole cards from a wed­ding re­cep­tion.

“Hear­ing what hap­pened, you just feel sick to your stom­ach, re­ally,” said Ash­ley DeGiob­biLynk.

She mar­ried Lenny Lynk on July 23 and held a re­cep­tion at the Army Navy Airforce Club in New Water­ford.

A week later they dis­cov­ered some­one lifted some wed­ding cards from their re­cep­tion.

Ten were found opened and dis­carded the day af­ter the re­cep­tion and con­tacted po­lice.

The new­ly­weds had no way of know­ing how many cards were taken.

DeGiobbi-Lynk said they felt dis­gusted.

“We don’t have any idea what hap­pened but it’s an aw­ful feel­ing know­ing some­one did this.”

Man date­jacked in N.L.

It started out like any other first date in the 21st cen­tury: Man meets woman on­line and they agree to meet.

But a 26-year-old man from Win­ter­ton, N.L., got more than he de­sired in Au­gust when he met up with a 30-year-old woman from nearby Car­bon­ear.

They drove to a park and things went awry.

Al­legedly, a trio of men ap­proached the ve­hi­cle bran­dish­ing a weapon. They took the man’s money and be­long­ings. They also stole his car. The man man­aged to get away and re­port the in­ci­dent to po­lice around 1 a.m. He was not in­jured. “He was shaken and he was up­set,” the RCMP said. “He feared for her safety.”

The fe­male was also be­lieved to be a vic­tim, but that changed as the man kept re­ceiv­ing text mes­sages ask­ing for money as he spoke to po­lice.

“We were ping­ing the cell­phone be­cause texts were com­ing back and forth,” said Hil­lier.

Po­lice used that info to lo­cate the car a short while later.

“Two in­di­vid­u­als were hid­ing in the woods, two were not there and the weapon used was there,” said Hil­lier.

Four peo­ple were ar­rested in con­nec­tion to the in­ci­dent - the woman, an 18-year-old man, a 33-year-old man and a 15-yearold youth.

Hoppy moun­tain high

A break-in at a farm didn’t get three peo­ple the de­sired high af­ter they al­legedly mis­took hops for mar­i­juana.

A farmer in Alexan­dra, P.E.I., called to re­port a break-in af­ter he saw three peo­ple near his build­ings.

A woman and two men were ar­rested.

They al­legedly caused ex­ten­sive dam­age to a hops crop pack­aged for ship­ping.

They told po­lice they thought there was mar­i­juana grow­ing on the farm.

Hops are used in beer brew­ing.

Im­paired by drink and phone

Driv­ing im­paired and try­ing to text ended badly for a Souris, P.E.I., woman.

Candice Ann Janzen, 28, got seven days in jail af­ter she drove her ve­hi­cle into a ditch while tex­ting and driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

Souris, P. E. I., po­lice re­sponded to a sin­gle-ve­hi­cle col­li­sion Oct. 10.

They found paramedics at­tend­ing to Janzen, who said she had been driv­ing and tex­ting af­ter drink­ing.

The judge told Janzen it was un­der­stand­able how she ended up in the ditch.

“I guess the only good thing is you didn’t take any­one with you,” Chief Judge Nancy Orr said.

Janzen, 28, is also banned from driv­ing for two years and fined a to­tal of $1,300.

“Why two years?” Orr said of the ban. “It’s pretty ob­vi­ous.”

A Face­book screen­shot show­ing part of Bran­don Mel­bourne’s ex­change with the Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary.

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

A trio of thieves tried to nab a lit­tle weed (left photo) at a lo­cal grow­ing op­er­a­tion, only to find their in­tended booty was ac­tu­ally hops (right photo). Guess that must have been a downer.

Je­nine Porter was also charged with ex­tor­tion and rob­bery af­ter a “date­jack­ing” case near Car­bon­ear, N.L.

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