Orleans food truck owner’s confidence in police restored after his stolen generator is recovered

Posted On Wednesday August 11, 2021

The owners of Stoked food truck were happy to get their stolen generator back last month, and they are now believers about the importance of reporting crimes like thefts to police.

The generator was one of several items stolen from their storage shed in May. At the time, Sutton, one of the co-owners of the business, didn’t report it to police. “I figured there was no point. I didn’t have a serial number, nor a lot of confidence the police would do anything about it,” he said.

Sutton checked every week on internet sale sites to see if his property would come up. When he spotted the generator in mid-July, he decided to call police to see what could be done.

Cst. Josee Provencal, an officer with Ottawa Police Service (OPS) since 2018, took his report and was determined to help him.

“It’s difficult to prove you own an item if you don’t have a serial number, model number or anything to identify it as yours,” said Cst. Provencal, “but this generator had some unique markings and the owner had photos, along with a piece that had fallen off, so we were able to confirm it belonged to him.”  

Cst. Provencal reached out to the OPS Criminal Investigations Section and Cst. Jennifer Biondi contacted the seller, posing as a potential buyer. As an officer with fourteen years of service with OPS, she is trained as an undercover investigator. “The seller was cautious,” she said, “he even changed the meeting location at the last minute, which is a red flag.”

She and her partner saw the seller drive by to check them out. When the meeting took place, the suspect was arrested by Cst. Dominic Paykarimah.

“These officers restored my confidence in police and I’m a believer in reporting,” said Sutton. “Now every time I buy something, I’m going to document it.”

Ottawa Police offers the following tips to residents to make recovering valuable items easier if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a theft:

  • Keep documents, serial numbers and model numbers for electronics, machinery, sporting equipment and household goods, so if stolen, you can identify it.
  • Report any break-in immediately, even if nothing was taken. That can help police track where activity is happening and identify patterns so officers can respond.
  • We’ll try our best to solve your case, but if that doesn’t happen, reporting incidents can save others in the community from being victimized.
  • Go ahead and look for your items on internet sale sites, but do not try to get stolen goods back yourself. Contact Police, even if you didn’t report the item stolen when it happened.

For more home security safety tips, go to ottawapolice.ca.