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AirTag helps police locate stolen trailer

A pair of people have been charged as a result
Niagara Regional Police Service file photo

On Sept. 15, 2023, the Communications Unit of the Niagara Regional Police Service received a telephone call from a complainant indicating their utility dump trailer had been stolen from an address on Oakdale Avenue, in the City of St. Catharines and was pinging by way of an Apple AirTag to a rural property located on Thirty Road, in the Township of West Lincoln.

Investigation has determined the theft took place between Sept. 14, 2023, at 4 p.m. and Sept. 15, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. from a fenced commercial property on Oakdale Avenue near Hickory Street, in the City of St. Catharines. During the afternoon hours on Sept. 15, 2023, the owner of the $15,000 utility dump trailer activated a hidden Apple AirTag tracer that was installed on the trailer.

Officers assigned to 8 District (Grimsby / Lincoln / West Lincoln) responded to and secured the rural property where the stolen trailer was suspected to be stored.  Detectives assigned to the 8 District Criminal Investigative Branch applied for and received judicial authorization to enter the property and search for the stolen trailer. The warrant was executed on September 16th, 2023.

The stolen trailer was located and the property owner Andrew Lee Wayne (36 years) of West Lincoln was arrested and charged with one count of possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime over $5,000, contrary to section 355(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Further investigation revealed James William Graham (58 years) of Grimsby was responsible for the theft and towed the trailer to Wayne's property. Graham has been charged with one count of break enter and commit place other than a dwelling, contrary to section 348(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Wayne was held for a bail hearing that took place on Sept. 17, 2023, via video link to the John Sopinka Courthouse, located at 45 Main Street East in the City of Hamilton. He was released from custody and is scheduled to appear on Sept. 29, 2023, at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse located at 59 Church Street in the City of St. Catharines. Graham was released on a Form 10 Undertaking and is scheduled to attend the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse, located at 59 Church Street in the City of St. Catharines on October 13th, 2023.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the lead detective by dialing 905-688-4111, dial option #3, extension #1009023.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).  Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.