Calgary Herald

Man charged over bogus carjacking

- STEPHANE MASSINON SMASSINON@CALGARYHER­ALD.COM

The frightenin­g story of an Airdrie man who was forced to drive around a stranger at gunpoint for four or five hours was actually a hoax, say RCMP.

On Thursday, police charged Three Hills resident Christophe­r Scoffield, 27, with public mischief for allegedly concocting a story about how he was threatened into driving someone around Calgary and nearby rural areas.

On Jan. 7, Scoffield reported the carjacking story saying he was driving in Airdrie when he stopped at a red light and a man pulled a gun and demanded he be driven around.

So serious were the allegation­s, RCMP sent their canine and general investigat­ive sections to look into the case, and a helicopter and a plane patrolled the skies.

RCMP later released a composite sketch of the suspect.

Airdrie RCMP spokesman Const. Robert Frizzell said complaints involving firearms go to the top of the list.

“When Mr. Scoffield was providing his original statement to us, we took it at face value and that there was potentiall­y a danger to the community,” said Frizzell. “Obviously, there was some concerns or some red flags that caused us to continue with our investigat­ion to finally flesh those out and in the end, in fact, confirm it is a false allegation.”

Frizzell said he could not comment about what investigat­ors believe Scoffield was actually doing at the time of the fake carjacking.

Police said the “suspect” in the drawing is a real person.

“As to our understand­ing, that is, in fact, a person that Mr. Scoffield had dealings with . . . back when he was younger. We just want to make it abundantly clear that that person isn’t wanted for questionin­g nor is he a suspect in any crime.”

Police said the investigat­ion into the so-called violent carjacking took officers away from other work.

“The cost, I can’t really put a number on it, but it is vast and extensive. Those resources could definitely be used more effectivel­y to police our community.”

 ??  ?? Hoax suspect
Hoax suspect

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