SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 22, 2012) - A woman who defrauded thousands of dollars from banks through a cheque scam was apprehended, and a violent string of "take-over style" bank robberies was stopped, thanks to the outstanding work of this year's Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA) recipients. Provincial Constable Derek Wickett of the Ontario Provincial Police, Bracebridge detachment and Detective Brian Hollingsworth of the Calgary Police Service, Robbery Unit will each receive the award during this evening's gala ceremony at the 107th annual Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
"These two police officers showed exceptional dedication and determination in protecting Canadian financial institutions, their employees and customers, which is why they are so deserving of this prestigious award," said William J. Crate, Director of Security & Intelligence for the Canadian Bankers Association. "Banks in Canada make the security and safety of their employees and customers a top priority and they work closely with police services across the country, assisting with the prevention, detection and investigation of bank robberies, theft and fraud."
Provincial Constable Derek Wickett - Ontario Provincial Police, Bracebridge Detachment
In September 2011 a call came into the Bracebridge Detachment of the OPP, reporting a suspicious cheque that was deposited for a large sum of money. Constable Derek Wickett responded to the initial call that a woman was depositing a cheque and claimed to be starting a new business, having all the paper work and proper documents. The bank's security team had quickly determined that the cheque was stolen, the business was fictitious and the woman was using false identification and papers. In total, five banks in the area reported similar incidents.
Constable Wickett quickly determined that the five bank frauds were committed by the same woman. The break in the case came when a bank manager called to say the woman had set up an appointment to open an account. Constable Wickett apprehended the woman as she was leaving the bank. This arrest, and follow-up investigation, by Constable Wickett led to further charges against this individual in relation to similar incidents across the GTA.
What made the case so extraordinary was that the investigation was led by a lone School Liaison officer. Constable Wickett's high degree of resourcefulness and commitment to the case led to the apprehension of a highly organized criminal and ended a complex, multi-jurisdictional fraud scam.
Detective Brian Hollingsworth - Calgary Police Service, Robbery Unit
Between January and September 2011 seven aggressive and violent, "take-over style" bank robberies occurred in the Calgary area. Masked men armed with guns and knives jumped over counters demanding cash and threatening staff and customers. Physical and video evidence of the robberies was unable to help the officers identify the criminals.
Detective Brian Hollingsworth of the Calgary Police Service, Robbery Unit was assigned as primary investigator on the case. Hollingsworth's breakthrough came from DNA found in a stolen car that was used in one of the robberies. Armed with the identity of one suspect, Hollingsworth and his team were able to apprehend the suspects.
Detective Hollingsworth worked relentlessly for nearly a year to put a stop to these violent bank robberies. Hollingsworth and his team were able to build a case based on a variety of circumstantial evidence, which speaks volumes of his investigative ability and dedication. Hollingsworth's leadership and determination enabled prosecutors to develop and present a strong case against the dangerous group of criminals.
About the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award
Since its creation in 1972, 223 officers from across Canada have been honoured with the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award for their outstanding bravery, dedication and other noteworthy achievements in combating crimes against Canada's banks. For additional information about the CBLEA, please visit www.cba.ca/award.
About the Canadian Bankers Association
The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 54 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 274,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness. www.cba.ca.
Follow the CBA on Twitter: @CdnBankers