Senior faces mischief charges after nearly 20 packages claiming to contain 'chemical weapon' found in Winnipeg

A 71-year-old man from a Manitoba village faces public mischief charges after nearly 20 packages were left on vehicles in Winnipeg with notes indicating they contained a "chemical weapon" in April 2017.

Most of the packages were left on windshields in the downtown area in April 2017, police say

In total, police seized nearly 20 packages in April 2017, most left on windshields, all bearing a note indicating they contained a chemical weapon. A 71-year-old man has been charged. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

A 71-year-old man from a Manitoba village was charged this week with public mischief after more than a dozen parcels were left on vehicles in Winnipeg last year, with notes indicating they contained a "chemical weapon."

Winnipeg police got the first call about a package just before noon on April 27, 2017. The report described a "suspicious package" left in the 400 block of York Street near the Convention Centre, police said in a news release Wednesday.

The package had a label on it indicating it contained a chemical weapon, police said.

Police received several more reports about similar packages left on windshields of vehicles parked in the area and seized all of them.

Later that day, another victim told police a package matching the description of the others was left on his vehicle in the 800 block of Portage Avenue. That person brought the package to RCMP.

Then, just before 8 p.m., Canada Post reported staff had found another package in the mail at the processing station on Wellington Avenue. Police seized that package, too.

In total, 18 packages were seized. Investigation by the Winnipeg police and RCMP bomb units found there were no hazards in any of them.

"In committing the above-noted acts the suspect tied up numerous emergency services resources and caused fear to many citizens," police wrote in the Wednesday release.

A 71-year-old man from St. Claude, Man. — about 90 kilometres west of Winnipeg — was arrested for public mischief on Monday. He was released on a promise to appear.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the major crimes unit at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).