Devonshire Mall patrol officers arrest pair in alleged fraud operation
Devonshire Mall is seen in this file photo in Windsor, Ont., on Jan.30, 2015. (Sacha Long / CTV Windsor)
Windsor police have arrested two people after a fraud investigation at Devonshire Mall.
Police say they just started the annual deployment of officers at the mall for the busy holiday shopping season, and the effort has already delivered benefits.
On Tuesday at 10 a.m., officers assigned to the mall were notified of a suspicious transaction.
Information was received that a man and woman attended guest services.
The man indicated he was from Toronto, and purchased a large sum of mall gift cards using a credit card. He stated the cards were gifts for his relatives.
Moments later the woman returned to the guest services booth and attempted to purchase a large sum of mall gift cards, but was denied, as the identification card she was producing had expired.
Further information was received that the vast majority of the gift cards that the man purchased had just been used at a store in the mall.
Officers attended and found the man.
Investigation revealed that the credit card he had used to purchase the gift cards had been altered, and he was already bound by court orders not to possess a credit card.
He was arrested without incident.
Subsequent to his arrest, officers found him to be in possession of 14 grams of suspected methamphetamine.
Officers continued to work with mall security and located the involved female.
Investigation revealed that she had used a false name when she attempted to purchase gift cards, and she too was currently bound by a court order not to possess a credit card. She was arrested without incident.
Irwin Buenaventura, a 38-year-old man from Toronto, is charged with fraud under $5,000, breach recognizance, breach probation, possession of a controlled substance, suspected methamphetamine.
Michelle Matheson, 30, from Toronto, is charged with fraud under $5,000, fraudulent personation, and breach probation.
The matter remains under investigation by our Financial Crimes Unit.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Windsor Police Service at 519-255-6700 ext. 4330, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS), or online at www.catchcrooks.com.