POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The RCMP in Powell River is investigating a case of rental fraud to start the new year.

Constable Chris Bakker said that on December 29th at around 9:44 a.m., the police were alerted of a fake rental listing on Craigslist.

“The owner of a residence in the 5400 block of Hemlock Street reported that he had found his house (including a photo) listed for rent on Craigslist for $1400 a month,” Bakker explained in a release.

“It is believed that whoever posted the photo on Craigslist is likely looking to defraud potential victims of a rental damage deposit (although this has not been reported yet).”

The RCMP is reminding people to remain cautious when looking for rental properties. Bakker issued the following tips:

-When searching for rentals, go to the address in person if possible. Schedule a showing and confirm its availability.
-Request a lease/contract. Review it thoroughly.
-Complete internet searches on rental addresses to ensure it’s not a duplicate post.
-Do not send funds to strangers.
-Go with your gut. If it seems “fishy”, it probably is.

More information on rental fraud and other scams can be found through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website.

BICYCLE THEFT

Bakker added that police responded to a report of a stolen bike on December 27th at around 8:22 a.m.

He said the bike was taken from the McDonald’s restaurant on Joyce Avenue. The bike is described as a red and white Giant Boulder-brand mountain bike. It was reportedly taken from a railing on the east side of the building.

Bakker said the theft happened between 7:50 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on December 26th.

MISCHIEF

On December 28th, the detachment responded to a report of an unknown male who was attempting to open the doors of a vehicle parked in a driveway on the 4500 block of Claridge Road.

He described the male as being around five-foot-eight, 165 pounds and between 16 and 18 years old. He was wearing a black leather jacket.

Bakker added that after the sighting of mischief, the male was seen running in to a nearby wooded area. Police went to the scene, but could not find him.

Anyone with further details is asked to call the Powell River RCMP at (604) 485-6255 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Between December 27th, 2018 and January 2nd, 2019, the Powell River RCMP responded to 65 calls for service.

Some of these calls included two break and enters, five incidents of mischief, one case of impaired driving, three assaults, and four thefts.