Two people have been arrested in connection with the theft of valuable Wayne Gretzky memorabilia from his father’s home.
Police have recovered $500,000 USD worth of Gretzky memorabilia that went missing from Walter Gretzky’s home in Brantford, Ontario, this summer.
Police said on Tuesday that a 58-year-old male from Oakville has been charged with theft over $5,000 and possession over $5,000, while a 58-year-old woman from Brockville has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.
An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) spokesperson confirmed with Daily Hive that the 58-year-old female charged with fraud was Inspector June Dobson, a Detachmenet Commander of the Greenville OPP. The fraud charge, involving one of Gretzky’s hockey sticks, was unrelated to the initial investigation, police say.
“The OPP treats and investigates police officers accused of breaking the law in the same manner as it investigates any other individual,” said the OPP spokesperson. “Criminal investigations of OPP officers are the responsibility of the police service of jurisdiction which can be a municipal police service or the OPP, but the OPP Professional Standards Unit opens a parallel, non-criminal investigation after the criminal investigation is resolved.
“OPP officers are held to a higher standard of behaviour than other citizens. Officers found to have broken the law/behavioural standards will be subject to additional disciplinary proceedings, including possible demotion and dismissal, depending on the circumstances.”
According to a report in the Toronto Sun, the 58-year-old male charged with theft was a family friend.
The Brantford Police Service says the Gretzky family contacted them in August, and the ensuing investigation discovered that several missing items had already been sold to collectors across Canada.
A three-month joint investigation, with the Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP, resulted in search warrants at five homes across Ontario and Alberta to find the missing memorabilia.
Police recovered game-used sticks, hockey gloves, sticks, jerseys, and a Player-of-the-Year award.
“On behalf of our family, I would like to thank the Brantford Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for everything they have done regarding this investigation,” said Glen Gretzky, who spoke on behalf of the Gretzky family. “I would like to sincerely thank every member of the team; the professionalism, dedication and support they have shown has been greatly appreciated.”