Who is the Leaside extortionist and just how many prominent residents of the area has he tried to blackmail? Two well-known men, Realtor Patrick Rocca and Andy Elder, owner of Grilltime meat shop, have reported demands to police from the same person for payment of US$250,000 in bitcoins. Both men have been threatened with online harassment and abuse of their families if they don’t pay. Email has originated from different European servers, but most recently from the Tutanota provider in Germany. It pretends to be from a dark and frightening “anonymous” figure who is beyond the reach of the law as he goes about trying to steal from people. Those under attack think this person is probably living in his parent’s basement not far from Eglinton and Bayview easily within the reach of the law. This is the sort of stuff he is pumping out.
The fate of your family is in your hands. If you think you
are above anonymous you will feel our wraith (sic). If you don’t comply the
above will be executed on December 1st.
PEOPLE ENCOURAGED TO COME FORWARD
Detective Aaron Dennis of 53 Division is on the case and considers the threats to constitute criminal harassment and extortion. He is concerned that there are other targets of this abuse, people worrying at home about these threats. He points out that the material on which the extortion is based is all “open source” information and is perfectly respectable. And so the perpetrator has had to resort to largely unspecified fiction to attempt to get money. Most people might believe they have little to fear from such fabrications, but police say fear of the unknown might cause targets to buckle to the demands. In the meantime, it seems likely that any of us might walk past “anonymous” on Bayview Ave. And the question Rocca, Elder and the police have is are there more victims of this arrogant bully and thief. Anyone who has been contacted by the extortionist is invited to write to any or all of the addresses in the interest of stopping and catching the Leaside extortionist.