In keeping with a growing trend among police forces to provide protection to citizens when they are completing purchase transactions initiated on the Internet, the Laval Police Department has decided to set up a “neutral space” to support the safe exchange of goods or for any other situation that requires a neutral meeting area.
The location, in the parking lot outside the LPD’s headquarters building (2911 Chomedey Blvd.), is under 24h video surveillance. The site, which can be used for free, is accessible at any time and does not require authorization.
Police forces everywhere have seen it necessary to create such spaces given a growing number of reports of individuals being victimized by perpetrators of fraud or theft who take advantage of the relative anonymity provided by e-commerce transactions.
Some suggested uses
- A seller and buyer who make a trade on an online site (Kijiji, Marketplace, etc.) can meet there to complete the exchange safely.
- Separated parents can also transfer custody of their children peacefully in this location.
By next spring, the LPD is expected to set up two additional zones. Their openings will be announced by the force as soon as they are set up and become operational. These sites will also be monitored around the clock by security cameras.
Some tips for safe e-commerce transactions
- Never give out personal information;
- Take screenshots of the ad, the seller’s information and all communications between the parties;
- Check the seller/buyer’s name in a search engine (Google etc.);
- Only bring the amount of money required for the transaction;
- Don’t give the money to the seller until you take possession of the item;
- Take note of the buyer/seller’s licence plate number;
If you have any doubts or are not comfortable during the transaction, feel free to call off the deal if necessary.
Suspect in Laval daycare arson incidents finally arrested
A suspect who the Laval Police believe may have been involved in the attempted torching of a children’s daycare centre in Sainte-Dorothée was arrested on Nov. 20.
Jordan Picot Sudano, 24, was taken into custody by the LPD just two days after they had posted and distributed security camera images showing the act of arson allegedly being committed by him.
In all, three fires were set at CPEs in western Laval, including the Centre de la petite enfance (CPE) Les Soleils du monde, located on Lauzon St. The most recent was on Nov. 6 and was linked to the suspect.
In the security camera images released by the LPD, he was seen deftly approaching the CPE with an incendiary object in hand. He was seen placing the object at the base of the building, then leaving as fire began to spread.
The two previous arson incidents took place in October as well as in August. The suspect, who is a Laval resident, was not previously known to the LPD, they said, although he now faces charges of arson and possession of incendiary materials for criminal purposes.
He was released by the police with special conditions and is scheduled to go to court on March 9 next year. The suspect’s possible motives remain unknown
Laval-based prostitution pimp being sought by several police forces
Police from Laval and other areas of Quebec say they are seeking the public’s help to determine the whereabouts of a suspected pimp who is wanted in order to answer charges he was living off the avails of prostitution.
According to the police force, Blake Charbonneau, who has a long criminal record, is also being sought to face charges of sexual assault and armed assault over a period of several years.
The 35-year-old Laval resident is being sought by the inter-police Escouade intégrée de lutte contre le proxénétisme (EILP), which is made up of police from Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Quebec City, Gatineau, the Sûreté du Québec and the RCMP.
Charbonneau is 5’7” tall, weighs 176 lbs., has black hair and blue eyes, and wears ear rings. Anyone with information or who thinks they’ve seen him is urged to call 9-1-1, or the SQ’s Centrale criminelle de la Sûreté du Québec, at 1 800 659-4264.