Frauds, high-rise rescue and missing people highlight emergency news

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Police Organized Fraud Unit is warning the community about a recent phone scam being reported in Ottawa and across the country.

“The fraudulent phone calls are coming to both cell phone and land lines and may display the phone number of a legitimate government agency,” the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) released in a statement today (Nov. 5). “The recorded message when the phone is answered claims that it is ‘Service Canada’ calling and that there has been a crime committed with ‘your social insurance number (SIN) and to press “1” to avoid prosecution.’”

Police are urging Ottawa residents not to press 1 and to simply hang up. People who have continued with the call have been directed to purchase gift cards or bitcoins in order to avoid prosecution.  Financial losses have ranged from $3,000 to $15,000.

With regards to this and similar type of calls, police advises that:

  • No government agency will demand or accept payment in Bitcoin or gift cards;
  • Never give out personal or banking information over the telephone unless you are absolutely sure of who you are giving it to (do not release your PIN to anyone);
  • Do not rely on your phone’s call display option to validate who you are actuallyt speaking with, as fraudsters can spoof phone numbers.

With regards to this specific false “Service Canada” calls, police would also like to advise that these are robocalls and that the caller does not know any information about you. They will only know your SIN if you provide it to them. More information is available with Service Canada.

For more information on this and other frauds, please follow @FraudOttawa or visit our website.

High rise fire in South Keys

Fire dispatch received a call from a monitoring agency reporting alarms at 316 Lorry Greenberg Dr. in the South Keys area. 

“Upon arrival, Firefighters updated that there was a slight haze on the third floor of the high-rise apartment building,” Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) released in a statement today (Nov. 5). “They quickly located a unit where they believed the fire was located and immediately declared a working fire.”

Firefighters forced entry into an apartment where there found heavy fire conditions.

“They quickly located and rescued one victim who was removed and provided care by firefighters on scene until paramedics arrived,” the OFS said. “Occupants of the other units in the building have now been allowed to return to their residences.”

A fire investigator is on scene. No fire cause or dollar loss is available at this time. All inquiries regarding patient condition are to be directed to Ottawa Paramedic Services. 

Firefighters rescue man from high-rise crane

The OFS’ Special Operations Team was deployed yesterday (Nov. 4) to help rescue a man who had a medical issue in a high-rise crane.

OFS firefefigher Steve Lowry descends from the crane with the victim in tow. Courtesy Chief Kim Ayotte/Twitter

At approximately 3:15 p.m., the OFS was notified a crane operator working on Parkdale Avenue and Wellington Street suffered a medical emergency while in the operator’s box, rendering him unable to operate the crane.

“First crews arrived on scene at 3:20 p.m. and determined the need for a rope rescue,” the OFS released in a statement yesterday (Nov. 4).

“Firefighters escorted paramedics up the crane in order for them to assess the operator’s medical condition.

“Once deemed stable enough, the operator was placed into a Stokes basket and was lowered down by our rope rescue team.

Once safely on the ground around 3:40 p.m., the operator was transferred to Paramedic care.”

The OFS says this type or rescue isn’t common. OFS Chief Kim Ayotte referred to it as a “high risk rescue.”

“Rope rescue is very technical in nature and firefighters conducting this operation are highly specialized. Set up is complex and adapted to the condition of the person being rescued,” the OFS said.

“We would like to thank the Ottawa Paramedic Service and the Ottawa Police who collaborated with us to manage this incident.

“Our work together is based on trust, cooperation and a group commitment to service excellence and safety.”

Woman charged in Nov. 1 murder

OTTAWA – The Major Crime Unit has charged Nichole Hover, 44-years-old of Ottawa, with second degree murder in the stabbing death of Brian Blondin, 62-years-old, also of Ottawa.

“(Nov. 1), in late afternoon, Ottawa police investigators attended 7 Sidney St. and discovered Blondin deceased,” the OPS released in a statement Nov. 2.

Hover attended court Nov. 2 morning and was held in custody. The investigation continues, and there is no further information available at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Ottawa Police Major Crime Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5493. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.

Missing vulnerable person, Nov. 1

OTTAWA —The OPS is asking for the public’s assistance in helping to locate a missing vulnerable person, Miryan Abdi, 27 years old of Ottawa.

Miryan is autistic, has difficulty speaking and is also deaf. She is described as a black female missing her two from teeth, 5’7” tall with a small build wearing a brown & orange one-piece pyjama with a red & white jacket, green winter boots and a grey or black winter hat. She is believed to have gone missing on Nov. 1.

Anyone with information is asked to call the West Division Staff Desk at 613-236-1222 extension 2912
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or

STEP focuses on red light running, stop sign violations in November

OTTAWA – The OPS’ Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) will focus on red light running and stop sign violations the month of November.

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 3,718 collisions resulting in 1,581 injuries and four fatalities attributed to vehicles running red lights.

Between 2013 and 2017, there were 3,109 collisions involving drivers who failed to stop at stop signs. These collisions resulted in 1,032 injuries and six fatalities.

The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a leading community partnership between OFS, Ottawa Paramedic Service, OPS, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Services Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment. Also participating in the Safer Roads Ottawa Program are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Sureté du Québec, Department of National Defence’s Military Police and Gatineau Police Service to improve road safety for all residents of the national capital region.

Ottawa residents have identified traffic safety as a top priority. The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is committed to using available resources to make Ottawa roads safer for residents.

Preventing Crime, Protecting People Crime Prevention Week theme (Nov. 4 to 11)

OTTAWA – The OPS kicked off Crime Prevention Week at the Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO) Community Safety Awards Ceremony, Nov. 4 at City Hall.

This year’s theme of Preventing Crime, Protecting People will connect OPS officers with the community at several events city-wide. Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility, and by working together we can increase the safety of everyone who lives here.

Community Police Officers will be at the following locations during Crime Prevention Week:

  • November 6: Billings Bridge Shopping Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • November 6: Carlingwood Shopping Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and
  • November 7: Rideau Centre from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You are welcome to drop by to learn how you can safeguard your family and your home.

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