Convicted con man Donald Robert Quinnell was sentenced to four years in jail in 2015 for his confidence scams on elderly victims in Chilliwack and Agassiz. Now, in January 2020, he is facing 39 charges for the same in North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Vancouver. (RCMP)

Convicted Fraser Valley con man facing 39 charges in Vancouver area

Donald Quinnell got four years prison in 2015, again facing fraud, theft, stolen credit card charges

The B.C. Prosecution Service has approved 39 charges against a Chilliwack con artist known for targeting the elderly with calculated scams.

After facing 22 charges and being sentenced to four years in prison in 2015 for a string of confidence scams in Chilliwack and Agassiz, Donald Robert Quinnell is alleged to have stepped it up. He now faces 39 charges for a series of alleged thefts and frauds in August and September of 2019, this time in North and West Vancouver.

Quinnell’s well-honed technique is to prey upon older, trusting individuals with complicated and confusing ruses.

In some cases he says he has locked his keys out of his car and needs help, in others he offers to help carry groceries. His goal is to win the trust of his victims then works his way into their car or home, and then steals wallets, purses and other valuables.

Not only have his thefts from seniors been called “manipulative and deplorable” by police, but Quinnell even used his own baby as part of a theft more than five years ago, a child that was two-and-a-half when he was sentenced in 2015.

• READ MORE: Four years in prison for Chilliwack con man

“Sometimes he plays the victim and other times the saviour,” said Sgt. DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP in early September when Quinnell was wanted. “He convinces his victims to either give or receive kindness, which seems a very lovely thing. But then he uses their goodness as a distraction so he can steal their belongings. He gains trust so that he can betray it. It’s manipulative and deplorable.”

• READ MORE: Convicted Chilliwack con man wanted for confidence frauds in Metro Vancouver

Quinnell was arrested by Vancouver Police Department on Sept. 12, 2019 on a Canadawide warrant for allegedly breaching his probation from his Chilliwack convictions, and has been held in custody since then.

Nine of the new charges alleged against him are for wallet and credit card thefts, and the remaining 30 charges stem from allegations of frauds committed using those stolen credit cards.

“North Vancouver RCMP had issued public alerts about Mr. Quinnell in September of 2019, both in an effort to further the police investigation, and as a warning to the public, in particular for seniors,” DeVries said. “We worked in partnership with West Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, and other agencies across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to capture Mr. Quinnell, and to protect seniors in our communities.”

A West Vancouver Police Department spokesperson called the arrest an example of good communication and collaborative policing between agencies.

“Serial criminals don’t care about jurisdiction boundaries. For this very reason, we work closely with police services throughout the Lower Mainland,” Const. Kevin Goodmurphy said.

Both Goodmurphy and DeVries held a press conference on Jan. 14 about Quinnell, and also spread the word about advice to seniors to help them avoid fraud. They provided a link to the RCMP’s Seniors Guidebook to Safety and Security.

When Quinnell was convicted in Chilliwack in 2015, he offered no sympathy or apology to the victims of his crimes. Instead, he offered a tearful apology to his family, and he blamed his crimes on his addiction to cocaine.

His lawyer also complained that Quinnell had been beaten up at the North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre when fellow inmates found out what he had done.

He is next due in provincial court in North Vancouver Jan. 21 for a scheduled bail hearing.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fraudfraud preventionSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shots fired in Abbotsford, but no victims or suspects found

Incident occurs Tuesday afternoon at Whatcom and Old Yale roads

Abbotsford’s Ann Marie’s Cafe allowing customers to buy meals for frontline workers

Takeout food available to buy specifically for local healthcare workers battling COVID-19 pandemic

Signs of support to be posted on grounds of local hospitals

Individuals can purchase signs through program of Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Abbotsford politicians and city staff to consider cash-flow questions, tax deferments

Mayor says it’s unclear how many residents and business owners will be able to pay taxes on time

Sex offender charged again less than two months after prison release

Taylor Dueck, who was living in Mission, has history of sex assaults in Abbotsford

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Most Read