Halton Regional Police Service
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Media Release

Release Date: July 8th, 2020 - 1:54pm

Originator: D/Sergeant, Jared McLeod, 30 Division Criminal Investigations Bureau, 905 825 4747 ext. 2385

Contact: D/Constable, Derek Gray, 30 Division Criminal Investigations Bureau, 905 825 4747 ext. 2344

Location: Burlington


Second Male Arrested in Identity Fraud Investigation

​​The Halton Regional Police has laid charges against a second male responsible for multiple identity fraud incidents. 

Halton Regional Police Three District Criminal Investigation Bureau would like to make the public aware of the second arrest made in a series of purse thefts in the City of Burlington and Town of Oakville targeting older adult females in grocery store parking lots.​

Between December 19th 2019 and June 11th 2020 three men were involved in a series of distraction thefts in the areas of Toronto, Halton, Guelph, Niagara, Peel, Durham, and Barrie. Ten of these thefts occurred in Halton Region.

Project Waldo involved partnerships with Halton Regional Police, Toronto Police Service, Canadian Boarder Services Agency, Montreal Police and the civilian Crime Analysts from surrounding police services.

This group of thieves' targeted elderly females shopping in retail spaces obtained their financial card personal identification numbers. The accused distracted them and stole their credit cards at their vehicles in the parking lot.

Subsequently, the accused used the stolen credit cards for cash withdrawals and retail purchases.

The estimated loss is projected to be over $13,000 in total.  

Previously on June 12th, Constantin LITEANU (46 years of Burlington) was the first male arrested and charged by Halton Police for these identity fraud thefts.  (Previous Media Release for those charges).

Investigation by the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau has led to the charges against the second individual wanted by police.

Laurentiu AVRAM (35 years of Vaughan) was charged with the following offences on July 7th, 2020.

  • Fraud Under $5,000 (8 counts)
  • Personation with Intent (8 counts)
  • Eight counts of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
  • One count of Participation in Activities of a Criminal Organization
AVRAM was arrested by Montreal Police in Laval, Quebec and is currently​ in police custody.

The public is reminded to reduce their risk when shopping and only bring your driver's licence, health card and a few financial cards. Protect your personal identification number at all times and use TAP whenever possible. Don't let your belongings out of sight and become distracted while shopping.

Investigators have a warrant out for the third male responsible for these crimes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau - Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers "See something, Hear something, Say something" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca, or by texting "Tip201" with your message to 274637 (crimes).

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

*** PREVIOUS MEDIA RELEASE***

The Halton Regional Police has laid charges against one male in relation to multiple identity fraud incidents. 

Between March and May 2020, there have been a number of incidents where a group of thieves targeted elderly females shopping in retail spaces.  Suspects obtained the victims personal identification numbers of their financial cards as they observed them at these retail locations.  As the victims returned to their vehicles in the parking lots, these suspects distracted them in order to steal their credit cards.   These suspects used the stolen credit cards for cash withdrawals and retail purchases in the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington.

On June 12th, one accused male was arrested in Toronto. 

Investigation by the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau has led to the charges against the following individual:

Constantin LITEANU (46 years of Burlington)

  • Participation in Criminal Organization
  • Fraud Under $5000 (7 counts)
  • Personation with Intent  (7 counts)

LITEANU was held for a bail hearing on the 12th of June 2020.

The Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau is also seeking the public's assistance in order to identify the second suspect who is described as male, white, 25-30 years old, 5'9 to 5'10, medium build 170-180 lbs, with facial hair and dark rimmed glasses.  This male is wanted by a number of police services throughout the Greater Toronto and Niagara Area. (Photos attached)

Shoppers are reminded to pay close attention to their surroundings and keep a close eye on their valuables. Purses should be kept on your person at all times. Do not leave items such as purses and cell phones unattended in grocery carts while shopping.

Any fraudulent activity on your financial cards should be reported immediately to your bank and to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Older Adult Abuse Investigator at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers.  "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.