Chilliwack male suspect faces 39 charges for theft and fraud from seniors across Metro Vancouver

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      After numerous seniors in Metro Vancouver were targeted by a wave of thefts and frauds late last summer, a male suspect was arrested and is facing numerous charges.

      At a joint news conference held by North Vancouver RCMP and the West Vancouver Police Department today (January 14), police announced that the B.C. Prosecution Service approved 39 charges against Donald Robert Quinnell of Chilliwack.

      In September, North Vancouver RCMP issued alerts about Quinnell to warn the public, particularly seniors, and in hopes of advancing the investigation, according to North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Peter DeVries.

      North Vancouver RCMP had explained that his modus operandi was to approach someone and pretend to be a victim or savior by either claiming he had locked himself out of his car or to offer assistance to someone carrying groceries. Described as "smooth-talking", "well-dressed", and "well-mannered", he would do so in order to access vehicles or residences, where he would steal valuable items such as wallets or purses.

      Incidents occurred in Vancouver, North Vancouver, and West Vancouver from July to September in 2019, and included offences in Burnaby and Port Moody. 

      Vancouver police arrested Quinnell on September 12 on an unrelated Canada-wide warrant for breach of probation. He has remained in custody since that time.

      While nine charges are for wallet and credit-card thefts, 30 of the charges stem from the alleged fraudulent use of those stolen credit cards. 

      He is scheduled to appear in North Vancouver provincial court on Friday (January 17). 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook