On February 8th, 2023, at 6:40pm the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) Communications Unit received an emergency 9-1-1 call indicating there was a theft in progress occurring at Walmart located at 7481 Oakwood Drive, in the City of Niagara Falls and that an off-duty NRPS officer was attempting to control an uncooperative suspect.
Investigation has determined a female suspect failed to pay for various personal items and upon exit was approached by store security and advised she was under arrest. As the suspect attempted to evade the pending arrest, an off-duty NRPS officer observed the interaction and identified themselves as a Police Officer before intervening and assisting security with the arrest. An acquaintance of the female suspect then approached the off-duty officer, drew a knife and threatened to stab the officer.
Responding on-duty uniformed officers arrived and took custody of the female shoplifter and the male acquaintance who was armed with a knife. The off-duty officer did not sustain any injuries nor did either of the two suspects. The involved knife has been recovered and seized as evidence to the offence.
Jodi Bella POULIN (41 years) of Niagara Falls was arrested and charged with the following Criminal Code offence:
• Theft Under $5000 (Shoplifting)
Wayne K.J. GRIFFITHS (47 Years) of Niagara Falls was arrested and charged with the following Criminal Code offences:
• Assault a Peace Officer with a Weapon
• Assault with a Weapon
• Possession of a Weapon
• Uttering Threats
Both POULIN and GRIFFITHS have been released on Form 10 Undertakings and are scheduled to appear in court on March 3rd, 2023, at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse, located at 59 Church Street in the City of St. Catharines.
Anyone who may have witnessed or have information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact the lead detective by dialing 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1009501.
Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.