Chilliwack con man had long record of offences

Used a one-year-old child in one of his ‘distraction thefts’

This story originally appeared in the Jan. 22, 2015 edition of the Chilliwack Times

The man arrested for allegedly committing more than a dozen confidence scams in Chilliwack before Christmas has an extensive record for similar crimes dating back to the 1990s.

Donald Robert Quinnell was arrested on Jan. 2 and faces numerous charges in connection with the door-to-door frauds and

thefts that targeted senior citizens.

Last June, the 48-yearold was arrested in Deroche along with a young female accomplice for a series of what Mission RCMP called “distraction thefts” that included the use of one-year-old baby.

And in 2008, Quinnell was sentenced to six years in prison in Calgary after he was convicted of going to seniors complexes on the pretence of selling fresh fish, alcohol, cigarettes and other items. He would take cash deposits, then take off. In some cases he would steal money, wallets or credit cards.

At the 2008 sentencing hearing in Calgary into the crimes where he stole more than $15,000, his lawyer said Quinnell had a

“pathological gambling addiction.”

Earlier that year, Quinnell also pleaded guilty to a similar string of scams in Vancouver and was handed a 25-month prison sentence. Last year in Deroche, a 73-yearold resident called police after Quinnell and then 21-year-old Krisztina Krakoszki came with a baby to his door and asked for water for an overheating vehicle. When the resident returned, he found his 83-year-old wife’s purse was stolen.

On Jan. 2 of this year, Quinnell was arrested in connection with approximately 15 incidents in Chilliwack and Agassiz before Christmas. He faces numerous counts of fraud, theft and identity theft.

In December, Chilliwack RCMP reported they had received complaints of a male showing up to residences asking for money. In these instances, and similar ones in Agassiz, the male allegedly reported he needed a ride to the hospital and money to pay for various things, including an ambulance or to get a vehicle out if impound.

In a case recounted to the Times by an alleged victim, a man rang the doorbell of her home in a gated community and pretended to be the son of a neighbour. He said he needed a ride to the hospital, and eventually convinced her to give up $400. He then allegedly stole her cellphone and $60 when she wasn’t looking.

Quinnell is currently in Surrey Pretrial Centre, and had his latest court appearance by video in Chilliwack on Monday. He’s next due in court Jan. 26.

– with a file from the Calgary Herald


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