UPDATE: OPP seek assistance after series of mischiefs in Picton area
UPDATE (Friday, Mar. 4, 2022):
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have been investigating a rash of mischief occurrences which took place in the Picton area from the end of 2021 through early 2022, involving BBs being shot at local businesses and vehicles in the downtown core.
At approximately 10 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 3, 2022, while members from the OPP Prince Edward County Detachment and the East region Street Crime Units (CSCU) from Prince Edward County, Quinte West, Lennox and Addington were continuing the investigation officers observed a person acting suspiciously, according to a release from the OPP.
As the police approached, the male fled on foot, according to the OPP. After a short foot chase, police said the male was arrested. Additional investigation revealed the male was wanted for previous offences.
As a result of the investigation Paul Johnston, age 32, of Quinte West, Ontario is facing the following charges:
- Mischief Under $ 5,000
- Resist Peace Officer
- Failure to comply with release order – other than to attend court, two counts
Johnston was held for a bail hearing on Friday, Mar. 4, 2022, and subsequently remanded into custody with a scheduled court date on Monday, Mar. 7, 2022, at the Ontario Court of Justice in the City of Belleville.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Prince Edward County Detachment are looking for assistance from the public to solve a series of mischiefs in the Picton area.
Since Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, there have been six mischief occurrences involving pellets or BBs being shot, causing damages to property, according to a release from the OPP. Reports have come from both individuals and businesses. It is believed these are not targeted occurrences and there have been no injuries reported.
According to the release, officers will be conducting follow-up investigations with the assistance of the East Region Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU). The identified person(s) responsible for the damage will be charged accordingly, OPP stated. Individuals and businesses are also reminded to take the time to register their cameras on www.camsafe.ca.
CAMSafe, a community CCTV and security video registry, was established by the Belleville Police Service in June of 2021 to great success and community engagement, according to the OPP. The program is now expanding into other communities across the province including the Quinte West and Prince Edward County OPP Detachments.
The registry is designed to provide a starting point for officers to gather evidence by obtaining video footage to assist in an investigation. OPP state that if, for example, a crime occurs in your neighbourhood, an officer can log into CAMSafe, determine who has cameras registered and request footage from the owners. CamSafe is a voluntary, community-driven program and participants can add or delete their information at any time and only police have access to your details, according to the release.
Residents who wish to partner with police in solving crimes in their community can go to CAMSafe.ca and register video cameras and doorbell cameras. Only basic details, such as a name, address and contact information are necessary to participate, OPP said.
Prince Edward OPP is asking anyone who may have information regarding these occurrences of mischief to report it by calling 1-888-310-1122. Individuals who wish to remain anonymous, may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or submit a tip online at www.crimestoppersquinte.ca where they may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.