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Woman faces numerous charges in Teddy car theft case

OPP say suspect was found hiding in the attic of a residence a short distance away from the crash scene on Line 7 in Oro-Medonte
2022-06-07 Teddy the dog
Teddy was taken along for the ride when his owner's car was stolen on Saturday in Barrie.

Provincial police have charged a Barrie woman with several criminal offences in connection to a stolen vehicle and an elderly Innisfil man's dog on the weekend.  

On Saturday, June 4, just before 3:30 p.m., Orillia OPP officers responded to a single-vehicle crash where a hydro pole was struck on Line 7 in Oro-Medonte Township, halfway between Barrie and Orillia. The stolen vehicle had come to rest on its roof.

Police say they received information that the suspect driver had fled into the bush allegedly attempting to flee police.

The vehicle had been stolen in Barrie earlier in the day along with the owner's dog.

Malcolm Campbell, a 91-year-old resident of Sandycove Acres in Innisfil, told BarrieToday that he had Teddy, a small Corgi-like dog with short legs, in the back seat of his Mazda 3 shortly after noon on Saturday when two women hopped into the car as Campbell looked through the grass for his missing key fob. The pair quickly took off in his car, he says.

Campbell believes they somehow managed to relieve the fob from his retractable key chain while leaving all the other keys in check. He figures it must have happened as he tried to give the women a boost to another car in the parking lot of Golden Meadow Park in Barrie's south end, where he had stopped to let Teddy stretch his tiny legs while on his way home.

With the assistance of citizens in the area, the OPP Emergency Response Team and OPP Canine, Orillia OPP say the suspect was located hiding in the attic of a residence a short distance away from the crash scene. 

Orillia OPP Const. Brett Boniface said the accused was "not very co-operative" in terms of providing information about anyone else who was involved or even the location of the dog. 

Police say officers continued to scour the area searching for the dog, which was found hidden in a nearby vehicle where it was allegedly placed by the accused.

The uninjured dog was returned to Campbell on Saturday evening.

“Poor Teddy, he musta had a hell of an afternoon,” Campbell said.

Melissa Mattinson, 43, of Barrie, has been charged with break and enter, theft of a motor vehicle over $5,000, theft under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, possession of a stolen credit card, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop at the scene of a crash. 

Mattinson was released from custody and is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Orillia on July 19.