Arson in downtown Simcoe

Norfolk firefighters responded to a potentially dangerous situation in Simcoe in the early morning hours of Thursday.Around 4 a.m., Simcoe firefighters were called to Colborne Street North to extinguish a portable toilet that had been set alight. The quick response is credited with preventing the flames from spreading to a nearby home.“After speaking to witnesses, it was determined that two suspicious males on bicycles were seen in the area just prior to the fire being started,” Const. Ed Sanchuk of the Norfolk OPP said in a news release.Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area of Colborne Street North around 4 a.m. Thursday is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.Information can also be shared with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Callers to Crime Stoppers who help solve a crime are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.Off-duty arrests in Port DoverAn off-duty officer arrested two men in Port Dover this week after they were observed behaving suspiciously in the area of Donjon Boulevard.Police determined the men – both 22 and both from Norfolk County – had been removing property from vehicles in the neighbourhood.The arrests were made late Monday night. The pair has been charged with trespassing at night and theft under $5,000.911 for power outage?Police issued a reminder this week that calling 911 in non-emergency situations is a waste of public resources.Norfolk OPP responded to an address in Simcoe around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday after a man called the emergency dispatch service. The caller said he was phoning because the hydro went out.“On average, it takes at least two officers approximately 30 minutes to respond, investigate and clear the call,” Const. Ed Sanchuk, spokesperson for the Norfolk OPP, said in a news release.“This puts enormous pressure on OPP resources when officers respond to unnecessary calls that can be prevented.“Please do not call 911 about a power outage or to inquire about road conditions or if you have a sick racoon on your property or to order food. This is not an emergency.  Residents are being asked to contact 1-888-310-1122 for all non-emergency calls requiring police.”Fentanyl charge in SimcoeA 20-year-old Norfolk man faces a number of charges following a vehicle pullover in Simcoe this week.The arrest occurred on South Drive around midnight Wednesday.Riley Stewart has been charged with possession of fentanyl for the purposes of trafficking, operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs and alcohol, and possession of property obtained by crime worth less than $5,000.He will answer the charges at the Norfolk County court house at a later date.Bicycles stolen in SimcoeA bicycle was stolen from a home on Windham Street in Simcoe this week.The blue and silver mountain bike has a tan-coloured seat. It went missing in the early morning hours of Tuesday.The homeowner who filed the complaint located a bicycle on their property that the thief is believed to have left behind.Another bicycle was reported stolen on Victoria Street in Simcoe in the early morning hours of Wednesday. The bicycle in question is a green CCM mountain bike. It was removed from an unlocked shed.Norfolk OPP are investigating.Wallet stolen on Water StreetCharges are pending after a wallet was stolen from an address on Water Street in Simcoe this week.The theft was reported to police Tuesday afternoon. It was later determined that credit cards taken in the theft were subsequently used at a Simcoe store.Norfolk OPP are investigating.Cell phone taken from businessPolice advise the public to mind their phones when in public places.Tuesday afternoon, an employee of a business on Robinson Street in Simcoe complained that someone came inside and made off with their phone when they departed.Norfolk OPP are investigating.Tools taken from garageTools were reported stolen from a garage on Kent Street South in Simcoe this week.A drill and nail gun were taken from the unlocked building sometime Thursday.Norfolk OPP are investigating.Scammer nets $2,000A Norfolk resident fell victim recently to the Canada Revenue Agency scam.The complainant received a phone call from someone claiming to represent the federal tax collectors. The caller said arrest warrants were being prepared in connection with overdue taxes.The caller said purchasing $2,000 in Google cards and sharing their serial numbers would help resolve the situation. The caller complied and later realized they had been duped.“The OPP urge all residents to hang up the phone if they should receive a call from anyone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency threatening to arrest you.” Const. Ed Sanchuk of the Norfolk OPP said in a news release.“The fraudsters represent themselves as agents of the CRA to legitimize their fraudulent attempts to get residents to send them money and gain valuable personal information in the process.”Insp. Joe Varga, head of the Norfolk OPP, said local residents need to keep their composure when receiving a dunning phone call from a stranger demanding money.“These calls are designed to create anxiety and complete shock for the unsuspecting residents, resulting in personal and financial information being disclosed,” Varga said.The Norfolk OPP offer the following tips to prevent you and your family from falling victim:The CRA does not request personal information of any kind from a taxpayer by email. The CRA will not divulge taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided. The CRA will not leave personal information or threatening messages on an answering machine. Cash stolen from vehicleA cash box containing money and a wallet containing identification and personal information were stolen from a parked vehicle in Simcoe this week.The theft occurred sometime between 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Tuesday on South Drive.Norfolk OPP are investigating.Firewood stolen in SimcoeA substantial amount of firewood was stolen in Simcoe this week.Four cords stored on Evergreen Hill Road were taken sometime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday.Anyone on Evergreen Hill Road who saw someone loading wood into a vehicle Tuesday is asked to call the Norfolk OPP at 1-888-310-1122.Information can also be shared with Crime Stoppers of Haldimand and Norfolk at 1-800-222-8477. Callers to Crime Stoppers who help solve a crime are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.Mailboxes vandalized in WindhamAt least two mailboxes were vandalized in the area of Windham Road 12 this week.Police were notified of the damage around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.“Police are looking to speak to anyone that may have information regarding these incidents,” Staff Sgt. John Fashing of the Norfolk OPP said in a news release. “We need to hold these individuals accountable for their actions. Residents are tired of having their property vandalized or property stolen by individuals who think that this type of behaviour is acceptable.”Anyone who saw something suspicious in the area of Windham Road 12 late Wednesday or early Thursday is asked to contact the Norfolk OPP at 1-888-310-1122.Drugs seized on Chapel StreetA Norfolk man behaving suspiciously on Chapel Street in Simcoe Wednesday morning was subsequently charged with drug offences.The 22-year-old was taken into custody around 1:40 a.m. Wednesday. He has been charged with possession of fentanyl, possession of cocaine and failure to comply with a probation order.Don’t overheat your petsLocal police are disturbed about the frequent calls they have received in recent weeks from concerned citizens reporting dogs and other pets left behind in vehicles to over-heat.“The OPP want to stress the importance of leaving your animals at home in comfortable conditions and not in a hot motor vehicle,” Insp. Joe Varga, chief of the Norfolk OPP, said in a news release. “If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your pet.”Police said the temperature inside a vehicle parked in the shade when the temperature is 26 degrees C will reach 32 degrees C. In the sun, the interior of the same vehicle rises quickly to 71 degrees C. This will kill any living thing inside.“Dogs and cats pant to cool themselves,” the Norfolk OPP said Thursday in a news release. “But this is ineffective when they are surrounded by heat. On summer days the air and upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high temperatures that make it impossible for pets to cool themselves. Your pet will be more comfortable if left at home.”The Criminal Code of Canada allows for the following penalties for the mistreatment of animals:Causing unnecessary suffering — maximum sentence of 5 years in jail Injuring or endangering an animal — maximum sentence of 5 years in jail Neglecting the basic needs of an animal — maximum sentence of 2 year in jail. read more

UN official shocked by killing of aid workers in Afghanistan

“I am deeply saddened by this shocking news. I share the grief of our colleagues at Save the Children International and the families of those killed,” Mark Bowden said in a statement to the press.“Afghanistan is one of the most challenging places for the humanitarian community with death, kidnappings and attacks against humanitarians all too frequent an occurrence,” he added.Aid workers in Afghanistan provide emergency trauma care, run feeding programmes for malnourished children, assist people displaced from conflict and natural disasters, and support the most vulnerable wherever there is need. Attacks against aid workers lessen their ability to carry out these essential activities.“I call on all parties to ensure that those providing humanitarian assistance have safe access to people in need are can carry out their life-saving work unhindered,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said. In 2014, 57 aid workers were killed in Afghanistan, according to United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). read more