Burlington (June 18, 2020) – The Halton police arrested and charged Constantin Liteanu in Toronto on June 12 as a result of a fraud investigation into a series of identity frauds and distraction thefts. Between March and May 2020, multiple identity fraud incidents occurred in the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville. The police believe that a group of thieves, including Liteanu, targeted elderly women while shopping. Officials are seeking assistance in identifying the second wanted male. He is described as white, 25-30 years old, 5’9 to 5’10, medium build, 170-180 lbs, with facial hair and dark-rimmed glasses. The described suspect is wanted by several police services throughout the GTA and the Niagara Area.
The Halton police arrested and charged Constantin Liteanu of Burlington in connection with a series of identity frauds and distraction thefts targeting elderly women, according to a press release from June 16. The police are seeking to identify a second suspect in connection with the fraud investigation.
Series of identity frauds in Burlington and Oakville
Between March and May, the police received multiple reports about distraction thefts and subsequent identity frauds of elderly women. A group of thieves targeted their victims while shopping in retail spaces. The group visited Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart in Burlington and the Longo’s and Metro grocery stores in Oakville during May, police said.
The police believe that the thieves obtained the PIN of their victims’ bank cards as they watched them paying. When the victims returned to their cars in the parking lots, the suspects distracted them and stole their credit cards.
Thereafter, the thieves fraudulently used the stolen credit cards for cash withdrawals and purchases in Oakville and Burlington. Allegedly, they gained at least $5,000 in total, according to a previous press release of the Halton police.
Burlington man charged with fraud
On June 12, Liteanu was arrested in Toronto. The police charged him with Participation in Criminal Organization, seven counts of Fraud Under $5,000, and seven counts of Personation with Intent. The 46-year-old was held for a bail hearing on June 12.
The Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau is seeking the public’s assistance to identify a second suspect. The man is described as white, 25-30 years old, 5’9 to 5’10, medium build, and 170-180 lbs. He has facial hair and is wearing dark-rimmed glasses. The described man is wanted by a number of police services throughout the GTA and the Niagara Area.
In a previous press release, the Halton police also described a third suspect and that the group was last seen driving an older model Grey or Silver Ford Edge. The vehicle is likely a 2010-2015 year model. No license plate was obtained.
Pay attention while shopping
The police reminded the public to reduce their risk when shopping by only bringing their driver’s license, health card, and a few financial cards. All identity documents should be left securely at home.
Furthermore, the police urged shoppers to pay close attention to their surroundings and that they should keep a close eye on their valuables. It is recommended not to leave items such as purses and cell phones unattended in grocery carts.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Older Adult Abuse Investigator at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.