Laval woman hit with $1 million in bogus mortgages

Laval police beat:
ABM thieves net $1.3 million, another grow-op burgled, female bank robber foiled

By Robert Frank

Back in October, Laval police, together with their Montreal counterparts and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, began an investigation after a Laval woman, whom they declined to identify, received a document about the sale of her house. The problem was she hadn’t sold it.

On March 13, they arrested two men, Montrealer Kinh Luan Ho Quan, 57, and St. Hubert resident Claude Bossé, 46. The pair appeared in court in Laval to face fraud charges, March 15.

“Without the woman’s knowledge, the suspects contracted three mortgages, ranging in value from $100,000 to $450,000, using fake documents and identification to notarize the sale of her house,” Sgt. Frédéric Jean told The Suburban.

“The woman still lives in the house and I understand that she has received very good cooperation in the process of legally reclaiming her home,” he added.

“I had heard of a similar case about six-to-seven years ago, but generally this sort of crime is very rare,” Sgt. Jean said.

Welders extract $1.3 million from ABMs

Laval residents Réjean Lavigne, 48, and his son Maxime Lavigne, 24, have been arrested in connection with 133 thefts in Quebec and Ontario.

“They would break into automated banking machines using portable acetylene torches,” explained Sgt. Jean, “usually standalone ABMs at gas stations and flea markets, for example.”

“The Guzzo theatre in Laval was one of the victims,” he continued. “The crimes were committed all over the North Shore, Laval, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Halton, Ontario.”

“Cooperation between police services led to the arrest, in what we have called Operation Soudeur,” Sgt. Jean said. “Some thefts were for as little as $3,000; others netted more than $50,000.”

Two other individuals were also caught in the interprovincial dragnet: Pierre Poirier, 51, of St. Gabriel de Brandon, and William Nolin, 43, of Niagara.

All four currently face charges in Ontario. There is no word yet as to what charges the quartet might subsequently face in Quebec.

Burglers finger grow-up

A bungled burglary has again led Laval police to uncover a marijuana grow op.

Around 8 p.m., March 9, a neighbour spotted four men in their 20s in the yard at 560 St. Saëns East, in Auteuil.

“Police officers intercepted three out of the four suspects, and noticed that they had cannabis in their pockets,” recounted Sgt. Jean. “When they entered the property, they noticed that it was almost vacant, with very little furniture inside, and immediately realized that it was used to grow marijuana. They subsequently discovered more than 400 plants between one-to-three feet tall.”

He said that investigators are meeting the owner who rented out the house. “The fourth break-in suspect ought to be located very soon,” he added. “We have a very good lead.”

Dye-pack foils female bank robber
“A black woman dressed in a black coat, black pants and sunglasses entered the TD Bank in the Megacentre in Sainte Dorothée, just before it closed at 4 p.m., March 13,” Const. Nathalie Lorrain told The Suburban.
“She asked for money in unaccented English and, after the teller went to get the money, she pulled out a gun and screamed: ‘It’s a holdup!’”

“The teller complied, and gave her a red-dye pack anti-theft device which the woman put inside her bag,” Const. Lorrain explained. Dye-packs look like bundles of money but with indelible red ink and a tiny explosive charge hidden inside.

“As she left the bank, the dye-pack exploded in the bag,” she continued. “When the suspect saw what had happened, she abandoned the bag and the ink-stained money.”

“Witnesses saw her get into a waiting black, four-door car, which fled the scene with great haste,” Const. Lorrain said.

“We don’t have a description of the driver,” she added. “The female suspect had brown hair, but the teller thinks that it could have been a wig, because it didn’t looknatural.”

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