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Winnipeg Police Service


News Room – Inside the Winnipeg Police Service

2016 Western Canadian Robbery Investigators Conference

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Presentation Topics
2016 Western Canadian Robbery Investigators Conference

Following is a listing of the Featured Speakers and Presentation Topics that will be featured at the 2016 Western Canadian Robbery Investigators Conference.

Mitch McCormick & Larry Levasseur
(retired WPS officers)

Project Kite - This presentation will cover the investigation into one of the most sophisticated bank robbery and fraud artists ever encountered by a Canadian police agency. The accused Gerald BLANCHARD was arrested after a three year investigation and faced more than 40 charges of theft, fraud as well as participating in a criminal organization.

BLANCHARD in many of his bank thefts manage to override bank security systems with elaborate techniques that have been described by investigators as being extremely sophisticated. BLANCHARD also led police to the recovery of a missing piece of royal jewellery stolen from inside a secure glass case in Vienna's Schoenbrunn Palace. The "Star of Empress Sisi" was later located safely hidden in the residence belonging to BLANCHARD's grandmother. BLANCHARD and his group made millions and lived a lavish lifestyle travelling the world. The group’s sophistication became apparent as they purposely left behind “bogus” clues that originally caused police to embark on investigative avenues that were completely unrelated, thus staying steps ahead of the police.

Journalist Joshuah Bearman wrote a comprehensive article for that provides an interesting look at Blanchard’s criminal exploits and the Winnipeg Police Service investigation that led to his arrest.  Please follow the link to read Bearman’s article titled “Art of the Steal: On the Trail of the World’s Most Ingenious Thief

Gerald BLANCHARD Mr. Blanchard will be speaking candidly about his involvement and subsequent arrest in project Kite and will provide insight into the motivation, thoughts and tactics of a master thief. This portion will be followed by Q and A session with Mr. Blanchard.

TBA Boston Marathon Bombing USA – In 2013 The Boston Marathon bombing terrorist attack captivated people around the world. During the marathon 2 pressure cooker bombs exploded killing 3 people and injured an estimated 264 others. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the investigation and released photographs and a surveillance video of two suspects. The suspects were identified later that day as Chechen brothers Dzhokhar.

Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Shortly after the FBI released the images, the suspects killed an MIT policeman, carjacked an SUV, and initiated an exchange of gunfire with the police in Watertown, Massachusetts.

WPS Sgt. John O’Donovan Gait Analysis – Sgt O’Donovan was involved in an investigation involving a male identified as Jeffrey Allan Summerfield. Jeffrey Allan Summerfield had a long record for robbing banks in both Winnipeg and Alberta. Summerfield was arrested for four bank robberies and during his subsequent interview he declined to comment on any the incidents. Sgt O’Donovan and his team gathered video evidence from all the robberies and enlisted the help of a professor of kinesiology to analyze the footage. Based on the analysis of the professor she was able to conclude that the person in the video was indeed Jeffery Summerfield thru “gait analysis”. Sgt O’Donovan will discuss the steps taken during this investigation, his thought process, methodology and the final outcome of this unique investigative tool.

WPS Detective Dan Spencler Project Birks – Detective Spencler will be discussing a multi-jurisdictional Robbery Investigation involving “Pink Panther” style Robberies. The suspect Milorad NIKOLIC and his associates sought out jewellery stores that sold Rolex watches and executed smash and grab robberies. A combined effort between the Winnipeg Police Service, Birks, and Jewellers Vigilance assisted in the arrest of the NIKOLIC group and identified them as being involved in robberies throughout several other jurisdictions within Canada.

TBA Crown / Defense perspectives – An Open and Frank discussion with both Crown and Defense attorney perspectives as it relates to social media, photo lineups, youth waiver, testimony etc.

Detective Ravi Misir Case Law / Trends / Open Source Info Detective Ravi Misir will discuss current trends and case law as it pertains to Robberies and Major Crimes investigations. Detective Misir will also discuss current case law as it pertains to Open source information such as Facebook and Instagram.

Crime Analyst Cindy Brown WPS Crime Analysis – Crime Analyst Cindy Brown will discuss what Crime Analysis can do for you and your investigation.

TBA 3SI and Mac’s– GPS tobacco tracking presentation

John Lamont Jeweller’s Vigilance– John Lamont gives an informative overview of Jeweller’s Vigilance police only data base and how they can assist with police investigations linking suspects to jewellery robberies.

Malcolm Chivers Canadian Bankers Association – Malcolm Chivers gives an informative overview of who the Canadian Bankers Association are, what they do and updates robbery trends, stats, and comparisons annually.