A man is in custody after a three week fraud investigation.
On April 7, a patrol officer assigned to West Division responded to a report of a fraud at a store in the Bayer’s Lake Industrial Park where a man returned an item he had not purchased. The suspect was arrested at the scene and was later released to appear in court at a later date on fraud charges. Following this incident, the officer inquired at other stores for similar incidents and during his three weeks investigation, uncovered fraudulent transactions throughout HRM going back to 2010 and exceeding $10,000.
The suspect would enter a store empty-handed and select an item from the store. He would then proceed to the customer service desk and attempt to return the item for store credit under the pretence that he lost his receipt. In one instance, the suspect became aggressive and threatened a clerk with a pair of boots he was attempting to return after the clerk refused to proceed with the return. The clerk was not injured.
Yesterday, 48-year-old Jeffrey Archibald Baker of Dartmouth was arrested without incident. He is facing 59 counts of fraud under $5,000, six counts of attempted fraud under $5,000, one count of theft under $5,000, one count of assault with a weapon and 65 counts of failing to comply with a probation order. He was held in custody overnight and will appear in Halifax Provincial Court today.
Halifax Regional Police reminds store clerks and owners to use diligence when accepting a return without a receipt. Anyone who has been a victim of such a fraud is encouraged to report it to the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit at 490-1985 or online at https://www.halifax.ca/police/NonDispatch/index.html.