Update: Donald Robert Quinnell of Chilliwack was arrested on September 12, 2019, and 39 charges against him were approved on January 19, 2020. For more information, see this article.
After numerous frauds targeting seniors have taken place across Metro Vancouver this summer, local police are not only warning citizens about scams but are also seeking help in locating a male suspect who has been identified.
North Vancouver RCMP have identified 52-year-old Donald Robert Quinnell of Chilliwack as a suspect in a number of these incidents.
He is wanted for a minimum of nine offences in North Vancouver and multiple charges in West Vancouver and Vancouver are expected as well.
Quinnell is also wanted on an outstanding Canada-wide warrant for breach of probation.
He is described as a well-dressed, well-mannered white male with a light to medium complexion who appears to be in his 40s or 50s.
He is 185 centimetres (six-feet, one-inch) tall and weighs 86 kilograms (190 pounds). He has short brown hair and brown eyes, and he may be wearing glasses or a ball cap.
North Vancouver RCMP spokeperson Sgt. Peter DeVries stated in a news release that he will usually try to play the role of either a victim or saviour when approaching and targeting someone.
In some cases, he tries to obtain help by claiming that he has locked himself out of his car. In other cases, he offers assistance in carrying groceries.
His objective is to win the trust of his victims so that he can access their vehicle or residence, where he steals their wallets, purses, or other valuable items.
According to North Vancouver RCMP, he hasn’t posed a physical threat to his victims thus far.
Anyone who sees him or anyone who witnesses anything suspicious is asked not to approach him but to instead call 911 immediately.
Anyone who may have been a victim is asked to report the incident to their local police department.
For those interested in learning about how to protect yourself, Burnaby RCMP’s Crime Prevention Unit will be offering a presentation on personal safety and robbery prevention from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on September 12 at the Tommy Douglas Public Library (7311 Kingsway, Burnaby).
The session will cover current trends, including hazards on web-based sales (such as Craigslist, Kijiji, and more), and what to do and not do during and after a robbery. To register, call 604-522-3971 or visit the library website.