Riding bike on sidewalk leads to fraud, drug charges

A Steinbach man faces a long list of charges after Winnipeg police initially stopped him for riding a bike on the sidewalk.

Incident highlights problems with meth, Const. Jay Murray says

A Steinbach man faces a long list of charges after Winnipeg police initially stopped him for riding a bike on the sidewalk. (CBC)

A Steinbach man faces a long list of charges after being stopped by police for riding a bike on the sidewalk.

Officers were patrolling in the area of St. Anne's Road and Bishop Grandin Boulevard around 4:30 a.m. on Friday when they spotted a "suspicious" man and woman on bicycles.

At first, the man allegedly gave the officers a fake name, but after further investigation, police identified him and found out he had a warrant for his arrest.

Police found stolen identity documents and payment cards, as well as a small amount of methamphetamine and a stolen bicycle.

The investigation also led officers to the 700 block of St. Mary's Avenue where they found a stolen truck, which had been taken from the 500 block of St. Mary's Road on July 13. The vehicle had an out-of-province licence plate that had been stolen from a vehicle on Alpine Avenue.

The 29-year-old man faces multiple charges, including identity fraud with intent to avoid arrest, possession of break-in instruments, possession of methamphetamine, possession of stolen property over $5,000, four counts of possessing stolen property under $5,000, four counts of possessing  identity documents, two counts of failing to comply with probation, and riding a bicycle on a sidewalk.

Takes a lot of 'good, old-fashioned police work'

Although the encounter started with a traffic stop, Const. Jay Murray said these investigations often lead to bigger charges.

"This was a combination of our Smart Policing initiative and some good, old-fashioned police work to place this individual under arrest," he said.

Murray also said the incident highlights the problem police in Winnipeg face with methamphetamine.

"As you can see, he was arrested with a small quantity of this, and we believe that this crime spree was the result of methamphetamine," he said.

"We often come across these individuals and they often have a large quantity of stolen property, which takes significant time and resources to investigate."

The woman currently does not face any charges, but Murray said the investigation is still ongoing.