Two Vancouver men are in custody in Saskatoon and facing numerous charges in relation to theft of pin pads and fraud, possibly including three incidents in Brandon.
A Saskatoon Police Service patrol officer recognized a van parked at 21st Street and Fourth Avenue on Aug. 22 at about 11 p.m. The van matched a description given in July by the Brandon Police Service in connection with stolen pin pads in Manitoba.
The officer approached the van and located a 33-year-old man sleeping inside.
Upon further examination of the van, officers located a number of pin pad machines and credit cards, all believed to be stolen. A second suspect, 54 years of age, was located in a nearby bar, found to be in possession of a pin pad stolen previously from Regina, and arrested.
In Brandon last month, a restaurant on the 800-block of 18th Street North reported that someone had stolen a cordless debit machine from the business and switched it with a similar looking unit that was later reported stolen by another business on the 800-block of 18th Street South.
“The one stolen from the first business was left at the second business, the one from the second business is still outstanding,” Const. Ron Burgess previously told the Sun.
After it was stolen, the debit machine appears to have been used to make several fraudulent refund transactions to an unknown bank card before it was left behind during the switch.
BPS Staff Sgt. Rick Semler told the Sun yesterday there may be a third and connected theft involving a cordless debit machine here in Brandon that followed the previous two incidents, this time at a local hotel, though he was unable to provide further details.
“The third one came along sometime later,” he said.
In the course of the police investigation, Semler said BPS staff passed on a description of a suspect vehicle — a Dodge van with B.C. licence plates — to police agencies across Canada.
“(The van) was the common denominator in these three particular incidents,” Semler said. “That’s what we had to go on.”
But as of last night, he was unable to confirm that the suspects arrested in Saskatoon were the same suspects in the Brandon thefts.
“We’re still working with the Saskatoon Police Service to see whether the people they picked up are the same people from here,” Semler said.
In a press release yesterday, Saskatoon police said they believe the men may be connected to six pin pad thefts in that city and are working with other police agencies across Canada as part of the investigation.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 28, 2013