LETHBRIDGE: Regional Police have charged 25-year-old city man, Matthew Aaron Robillard with public mischief in connection with an incident where he staged his own abduction.
In a new release, LRPS state, "The man’s disappearance was precipitated by a significant financial loss. The abduction was subsequently staged to make it appear as though he had been extorted in order to account for the loss".
About 7:30 on January 31st, Robillard left his west Lethbridge home to go to work in Picture Butte. He never arrived and his abandoned vehicle was located later in the day by Calgary Police in a northeast industrial area. The, about 3:20 on February 2nd, Robillard contacted police and was located at a northeast Calgary Hotel.
Follow-up investigation by both the Lethbridge Regional Police Service and Calgary Police Service, subsequently determined that Robillard was not the victim of any crime. He planned his disappearance and took deliberate steps, including breaking his own vehicle window and causing injuries to himself, to make it appear as though he had been abducted.
“This was a ruse that spanned multiple jurisdictions and diverted valuable police resources away from real victims and actual crimes,” said Acting Inspector Ian Sanderson, Criminal Investigation Division. “It’s a concern to us that someone would take these steps and cause police to continue an investigation when no crime had occurred.”
Sanderson added that with all the resources Lethbridge and Calgary police put into the search for Robillard, the cost goes into the range of tens of thousands of dollars.
As previously released, Robillard’s family was not complicit in this incident. They genuinely believed he was missing and possibly the victim of a crime.
Robillard is charged with one count of public mischief. He was released on a recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court April 8.