Between October 2018 and May 2019, a total of 22 break and enter incidents targeting seniors’ living residences in Downtown Division, committed by a lone female suspect.
During all the offences the suspect entered the residence unnoticed and would walk from floor to floor looking for unlocked suite doors to enter and would then proceed to steal valuables.
“The vast majority of the incidents occurred while residents were inside their suites,” says Const. Justin Miller, of Downtown Special Projects Team. “On one occasion a male complainant tried to physically prevent the accused from leaving his suite, knowing that she just stole from him, but the accused got away. It’s fortunate he was unhurt.”
In another incident, the suspect was found inside the suite by the complainant and reportedly solicited a sexual act to distract him while she allegedly stole his wallet. In other instances, the suspect offered to help a complainant with her groceries, or posed as a new housekeeper.
Investigators were able to identify the suspect on May 9, 2019 and made an arrest on May 15, 2019.
Cynthia Verna Louise Hamelin, 48, has been charged with housebreaking and commit theft (x8), housebreaking with intent, theft of motor vehicle, theft under $5,000, housebreaking and commit threats, fraud under $5,000 (property), use of a stolen credit card, and possess stolen property under $5,000.
“The harsh reality is that seniors are being treated as easy targets,” says Const. Miller. “Through my investigation I learned that the majority of the tenants left their suite doors unlocked, allowing for easy access. We want to remind residents to protect themselves by keeping their rooms secured and doors locked at all times.”
Additional charges are pending against the accused from another seven break-and-enter incidents. Investigators also believe there could be more complainants and are encouraging them to come forward by calling EPS at 780-423-4567. Hamelin's photo is included below:
Cynthia Verna Louise Hamelin, 48