A married couple from Mississauga, Ont., have been charged with public mischief, after police say they falsely claimed that Christmas gifts fell out of their vehicle and were subsequently stolen during a bizarre incident that never occurred.
Peel Regional Police say that a man and woman showed up at a collision reporting centre on Monday, claiming that their vehicle had been damaged when ice fell off a transport truck on the weekend.
The couple told police that the ice struck and broke their rear window which caused the vehicle to lose control near Hurontario Road and Ray Lawson Boulevard in Brampton.
Police were also told that a bag of Christmas gifts fell from the vehicle, which the couple claimed was then stolen by "unknown parties."
But after police began probing the alleged damage and thefts, the man admitted to having "fabricated" the theft and the story of what happened to the vehicle.
Const. George Tudos told CBC News that in terms of the damaged vehicle, police are confident that the man’s story "“didn't add up."
The accused — a 37-year-old man and 47-year-old woman — are due to appear in a Brampton court in January.
Police are looking to hear from anyone who might have information that could assist them with this case. Investigators can be reached at 905-453-2121, ext. 2233, though tips can also be passed on anonymously through Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Tudos said that when the media initially reported on the story the couple had put forward, there was a great outpouring of support from community members who wanted to help out that family.
When CBC News talked to people on the street about the story of the gifts that weren’t actually stolen, several people said they found the whole situation "sad."
Tudos said police don’t want to discourage the public from donating to charities, though anyone reaching into their pocket should carefully consider who they are supporting.