Thief who allegedly targeted women on dating sites nabbed by police in Port aux Basques

Donald John Cameron can now add St. John's to the list of cities he's charged with theft in.

Charges relate to a CBC Investigates story from October

Donald John Cameron, who has allegedly also used the alias Donald Joseph Cameron, moved to St. John's after an Ontario woman says he stole more than $15,000 of her cash and belongings. (Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers, Don Cameron/Facebook)

Donald John Cameron can now add St. John's to the list of cities in which he has been charged with theft and fraud.

Sources say Cameron was arrested late Monday night at or near the ferry terminal in Port aux Basques. Court documents show he has been charged with possessing stolen goods, fraud under $5,000 and car theft.

The fraud charge is for allegedly stealing a camera belonging to Mary-Lee MacInnis, his ex-fiancée, and selling it to Utsab Basu.

MacInnis and Basu were subjects in a CBC Investigates story in October, where they detailed their dealings with Cameron.

"This is the best day of my life," MacInnis told CBC on Tuesday morning.

Mary-Lee MacInnis, a nurse in Sudbury, Ont., fell in love with Donald Cameron quickly — only to find out he had a long criminal record. (Yvon Theriault/CBC)

She alleges Cameron fled her home in Sudbury, Ont., after stealing her camera, credit cards and cash. The couple was engaged to be married — MacInnis says he also stole the rings, which she paid for. She estimates the total value of items she's missing exceeds $15,000.

In several phone calls in October, Cameron denied the allegations against him and said he has never been arrested for theft or fraud.

But CBC Investigates uncovered dozens of charges against Cameron in at least nine Canadian cities. They range from a wide array of theft and fraud under $5,000, to identity theft and assault.

On the left, a camera purchased by an international student in St. John's has the same serial number as shown on a warranty at Mary-Lee MacInnis's home in Sudbury. (CBC (left), submitted by Mary-Lee MacInnis)

Cameron has been convicted in at least four cities in Ontario — London, Kingston, North Bay and Oshawa — and has gone on the lam on at least five occasions.

His full criminal record is not yet known.

Cameron made a brief appearance in Corner Brook provincial court on Tuesday morning. He will remain in custody until a bail hearing on Friday in St. John's.


Ryan Cooke is a multiplatform journalist with CBC News in St. John's. His work often takes a deeper look at social issues and the human impact of public policy. Originally from rural Newfoundland, he attended the University of Prince Edward Island and worked for newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada before joining CBC in 2016. He can be reached at