Senior OPP officer from eastern Ontario facing fraud charges linked to Wayne Gretzky memorabilia
OTTAWA -- A senior Ontario Provincial Police officer from eastern Ontario is facing fraud charges relating to Wayne Gretzky memorabilia following a months-long investigation into the alleged theft of items from the hockey star's father's home.
OPP spokesperson Bill Dickson confirmed to CTV News Ottawa late Tuesday night that Insp. June Dobson is one of the individuals who was charged after police made arrests in connection with the alleged theft of items from Walter Gretzky's home in Brantford, Ont.
Dobson is the detachment commander of the Grenville OPP.
Brantford Police said Tuesday a 58-year-old Oakville man has been arrested and charged with theft over $5,000 and possession over $5,000. A Brockville woman, also 58, was arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.
Dickson said Dobson's charges came about after new, unrelated evidence was uncovered.
“The charges against Inspector June Dobson are not related to the larger theft investigation. During the course of the initial investigation, police uncovered evidence, unrelated to the initial investigation, that a separate individual is believed to have committed fraud involving Gretzky memorabilia,” Dickson said.
Brantford Police say during the initial investigation, "police uncovered evidence of a second individual, unrelated to the initial investigation, believed to have committed a fraud involving Gretzky memorabilia (hockey stick)."
The initial investigation recovered various Gretzky sports memorabilia including multiple game used sticks, hockey gloves, pants, jerseys and a Player-of-the-Year award.
Brantford police say the estimated value of the items is more than $500,000 U.S.
Brantford police said the accused were known to the Gretzky family. Photos from an Aug. 2014 golf tournament in Prescott show Dobson chauffering Walter Gretzky in a golf course, and posing for a photo with him.
The tournament at the Prescott Golf and Country Club was in support of Leeds & Grenville Interval House, for which Dobson was a board member.
Dickson added that while Dobson was on duty when the alleged incidents took place, she is currently on unrelated leave, and that she has been given a letter notifying her of her suspension, if she were to return to work.
“The OPP Professional Standards Unit will also open an internal Police Services Act investigation for misconduct,” Dickson said.
In August, the Gretzky family contacted the Brantford Police Service after several pieces of sports memorabilia were found to be missing from Walter Gretzky's home.
The Brantford Police Service was assisted by RCMP and the OPP in a three-month-long investigation.
Police say this investigation allowed police to identify specific residences where the stolen property was believed to be located.