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Canada Deals With Other Storm Woes

January 19, 1998

OTTAWA (AP) _ Canadians struggling through the aftermath of a severe ice storm in rural eastern Ontario are grappling with more than power outages and flu outbreaks. The latest challenge: Imposter emergency workers.

In Hawkesbury, northeast of Ottawa, two men dressed as military police tried to take a generator from some homeowners whose electrical power was restored. The thieves said they needed the generator for other areas without power, but when asked for identification the pair fled.

Five people claiming to be United Nations personnel in Alexandria, south of Hawkesbury, were arrested for impersonating military officers after police found them picking ice off a roof.

``One of them was posing as a colonel and he was seen doing manual labor,″ said Sgt. James MacMaster. ``The witness knew that colonels don’t do manual labor, they get someone else to do it _ so the police were called.″

The colonel imposter and another man claiming to be a major were dressed in military fatigues. Three other imposters were wearing civilian clothes.

The group said it was with U.N. International Rescue _ an arm of the world body.

In a separate incident, an off-duty police officer arrested a man who came to his parent’s home posing as a member of the emergency response team asking if they needed water.

Constable Ranald MacDonald recognized the man Thursday night as someone wanted for a series of thefts, arrested him and turned him over to provincial police.

Police also warned that people claiming to be volunteers were pocketing money they purported to be collecting for charity.

One man went into a Hawkesbury car dealership and demanded a car for an urgent rescue effort. The man fled when the car salesman called police.

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