The Altona Police Service has charged a 23-year-old man from Altona after he was caught running an online lumber scam.
It all started on August 30th when an employee of a local business witnessed someone load a truck with 3 lifts of plywood from an off-site storage location. The employee was aware that these lifts were not recently sold.
Police found the suspect truck on Highway 201, east of Highway 75 and, after a brief conversation with the driver, learned his employer had bought the lumber online, from an ad indicating it was left over from a recent project, and e-transferred $1,500 to the seller.
During the investigation, police learned the seller had provided a company name as part of the ruse but say that turned out to be fake. It was also determined that several other people were trying to buy the same stack of lumber through the ad.
A few days later, police identified the suspect and arrested him.
He has been charged with two counts of Fraud under $5,000, one count of Theft over $5,000 as the actual value of the plywood was $6,680.
At the time of his arrest, the suspect was operating an e-bike. Turns out that e-bike had been reported stolen out of Winkler at the end of August. As a result, he has also been charged with Possession of Goods Obtained by Crime as the e-bike he was operating at the time of his arrest.
Meantime, Altona police have confirmed the e-bike is the one reported stolen by Brenda Fehr and is a story PembinaValleyOnline reported on earlier.