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Suspect arrested following investigation into series of thefts against vulnerable victims

A series of thefts have resulted in multiple charges for one 40-year-old woman.
Police Lights 2021 2

A Thunder Bay woman faces several charges relating to a series of thefts against seniors and other vulnerable victims.

Members of the Thunder Bay Police Service’s Crimes Against Seniors Unit, with assistance from the Break and Enter and Robbery (BEAR) Unit and Uniform Patrol Branch officers, have been investigating a series of incidents involving vulnerable victims who were the target of either theft or fraud since the spring of 2021.

The complaints involved a suspect, or suspects, gaining entry to the homes of their victims before stealing or defrauding them of money and belongings. Many of the victims have been seniors or vulnerable persons.

In one such incident, Uniform Patrol Branch officers were dispatched to a home in the 100 block of Cumberland Street South following a reported break and enter in the afternoon of Saturday, July 3.

Police learned the victim had limited mobility and was unable to leave their bed without assistance. A female suspect had entered the home claiming to be a health-care service worker, but refused to further identify herself. The female fled before police arrived.

An investigation led police to identify the female suspect. Further investigation also revealed the same suspect had entered other homes in the same area, on the same date, and stole a quantity of cash from vulnerable victims.

Elaine MICHANO, 40, of Thunder Bay, was arrested by police on Tuesday, July 20 on charges of:

• Failure to Comply with Release Order x 2
• Being Unlawfully in a Dwelling
• Theft Under $5,000 x 2

She appeared in bail court on Wednesday, July 21 and was remanded into custody with a future appearance date.

Charges laid in July 2021 are in addition to 39 other charges laid by the Thunder Bay Police Service in May, April, March and January of 2020, which include:

• Uttering Forged Documents x 4
• Fraud Over $5,000
• Fail to Comply With Probation x 15
• Fail to Comply With a Release Order
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime x 2
• Theft Under $5,000 x 2
• Fraud Under $5,000 x 8

Those charges are still going through the courts. The investigations remain ongoing.