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Police issue warning after local senior falls victim to “grandparent scam”

COURTENAY, B.C- The Comox Valley RCMP are warning people about a scam targeting older residents of the community this week.

According to a bulletin issued by the detachment, a report came in on August 27th after a local senior fell victim to the “Grandparent Scam”.

“Typically, in this scam a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren,” read the bulletin.

“Then, the con-artist claims they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. Typically they claim being in a car accident, trouble returning from a foreign country, they need bail money, or as in this case, they need money to pay a lawyer.”

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The police urged anyone receiving similar calls to not wire any money or give the caller any further information.

“Hang up and call your grandchild, or another family member, to find out what’s really going on.”

The bulletin also detailed several other incidents.

A local taxi driver got his cab back after it was stolen last night.

Police received a call around 7:30 p.m. on Monday night from a male taxi driver, stating that his car had just been stolen from Puntledge Park.

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Despite the theft, the police were able to locate the vehicle at 14th Street and Urquhart Avenue in Courtenay. The suspect is described as a young white man, with dark hair and a beard. He was wearing black pants and a black hoodie with a white logo at the time of the theft.

The investigation is ongoing.

Last Tuesday, a woman is alleged to have stolen several items from a local business, quickly bringing one of the items to a pawn shop.

“The vigilant pawn shop owner recognized the item as being stolen and called the police,” read the bulletin.

“Unfortunately, the woman did not want to wait around for police to show up at the pawn shop and went back to the local business where she allegedly threatened the owner. Police were able to catch up with the woman who was arrested and held to appear in court.”

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The woman, whose name is Alana Zirk, has been charged with theft under $5000, possession of stolen property, fraud, and uttering threats.

Last Wednesday, a man threw a beer bottle and smashed the windshield of a vehicle close to a pub in the Valley around 10:45 p.m.

“The man tried to walk away; however, was with security officers when police arrived,” read the bulletin.

“The man was arrested for mischief and has been released with an upcoming court date.

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Last Thursday, members of the detachment’s Crime Reduction Unit found a suspicious red truck parked on Willemar Avenue in Courtenay.

“The truck had no licence plates and damage to the ignition,” read the notice.

“Investigation determined that the truck was supposed to have been parked on the 200-block of the Old Island Highway in Courtenay and had been stolen from that location.”

The investigation is being assisted by the detachment’s forensic section.

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Anyone with further information regarding these incidents should contact police.

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