Ottawa police have nabbed a Toronto-area man for allegedly stealing thousands of X-rays from across Ontario while posing as an employee of a recycling company.
The total count isn’t known but cops estimate it ranges from 25,000 to 30,000 X-rays.
“It’s looking like it could be fairly extensive,” said Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Kevin McCaffery.
“We’re in the process of cataloguing all these X-rays — many, many thousands of them.”
Police say silver can be extracted from the film and believe the man was trying to make money by selling the X-rays.
The man was caught on Feb. 22 after employees at a medical lab in Orleans — who had been warned to keep their eyes open for someone trying to collect X-rays — tipped off police.
McCaffery said staffers challenged the man and he bolted.
“Good on them,” said McCaffery.
“They sensed that something wasn’t right. And because they brought it to our attention, that ultimately resulted in an arrest being made.”
The man, driving a moving truck, was stopped and arrested by OPP in Smiths Falls, about 50 minutes from Ottawa.
McCaffery said various labs, hospitals, and clinics have been targeted.
“The X-rays are sort of handed over because there’s a belief that this person is the right person that’s supposed to be getting the X-rays for appropriate disposal,” he said.
“It isn’t just an Ottawa thing. It’s much more widespread.”
Ottawa police may end up carrying the case, McCaffery said.
“There is an effort to have any charges that might be involved with this transferred to Ottawa and dealt with at one time,” he said.
McCaffery wouldn’t confirm if the man is known to cops.
“The investigation is continuing. We’re just sort of getting all the ducks in a row,” said McCaffery.
Billy Demitro, 37, is facing a fraud charge.
He appears in Ottawa court early next week.