British Columbia

Well-dressed confidence fraudster facing dozens of charges, say RCMP

The B.C. Prosecution Service has approved dozens of charges against a man who was the subject of a region-wide police hunt for a series of so-call confidence frauds targeting vulnerable seniors.

Chilliwack's Donald Robert Quinnell victimized elderly by gaining trust, then stealing wallets, valuables

Police say Quinnell would win the trust of his victims then work his way into their cars or homes to steal valuables. (North Vancouver RCMP)

The B.C. Prosecution Service has approved dozens of charges against a man who was the subject of a region-wide police hunt for a series of so-call confidence frauds targeting vulnerable seniors.

In a joint news conference Tuesday, the West Vancouver Police and North Vancouver RCMP said Chilliwack resident Donald Robert Quinnell has been charged with 39 counts relating to a series of thefts and frauds across the Lower Mainland dating back to July 2019.

Quinnell has been in police custody since his arrest in Vancouver Sept. 12 on an unrelated Canada-wide warrant.

RCMP had issued a public alert warning seniors about Quinnell earlier that same month. He was the suspect in at least nine confidence fraud incidents in North Vancouver, in which he allegedly gained the trust of elderly victims, then stole their wallets, purses and other valuables.

Police say Quinnell would play the victim, other times the saviour and would convince his victims to either give or receive kindness. (North Vancouver RCMP)

At the time, police warned that Quinnell appeared well dressed and well mannered and would approach lone elderly victims in grocery stores, parking lots and outside residences under the pretence of needing or offering help.

In some cases, he would say he had locked his keys out of his car and needed help, while in other cases he would offer help to carry victims' groceries.

Police say the remaining 30 charges stem from allegations of fraud relating to Quinnell's use of the stolen credit cards from the seniors' wallets.