Winnipeg, Manitoba – Over the past several days the Winnipeg Police Service has been made aware of a number of incidents where two individuals have engaged members of the public and identified themselves as ‘undercover’ officers.
The Winnipeg Police Service reminded members of the public that all sworn officers are required to carry a badge and a warrant card to identify themselves as police officers. Officers working, but not in uniform (plain clothes capacity) will have a Winnipeg Police Service badge affixed to their belt directly in front of their sidearm.
Police vehicles that would be involved in traffic stops will have a combination of red and blue coloured flashing lights. These will be located either on the roof of the vehicle, or mounted behind the front windshield by the rear-view mirror. In addition, flashing white lights may be located within the front grill.
The safest strategy when approached by anyone in an official capacity, whether for fundraising campaigns, meter readers, public surveys, or law enforcement, is to confirm credentials and identification.
The investigation into these reports continued by members of the Winnipeg Police Service Major Crimes Unit.
Between September 14th and 18th, 2016, several members of the public were approached by the males posing as officers while in the Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba area.
The males would represent themselves as undercover officers and indicate that they are involved in an investigation and or advise the victim that they are a potential suspect. The males would then proceed to seize valuables such as wallets, cash and credit cards.
With the assistance of the Brandon Police Service, William Edward THOMAS, 36 years old of Thunder Bay, Ontario was arrested on the strength of a warrant while in the Brandon, Manitoba area.
THOMAS has been charged with 43 offences which include Personating Peace Officer, Extortion, Theft and Fraud due to his alleged involvement.
A second male suspect, Matthew Adam BARTEL, 34 years old is currently wanted by police.
BARTEL is described as a Caucasian male, 5’11” tall, 325 pounds, red hair, fair complexion, male have facial hair.
Anyone with further information regarding the whereabouts of BARTEL is asked to contact detectives at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).
BARTEL is not to be approached, call police immediately.
Winnipeg Police Service