Rental scam behind mystery pile in Ottawa couple's driveway

A west Ottawa couple found themselves trapped Wednesday by a pile of someone else’s belongings in front of their garage.

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The retired homeowners had no idea who it all belonged to, why it was dropped off at their house in the middle of the night or why it would be left behind in the midst of a snowstorm.

“This is a mystery, a total mystery,” said homeowner Kit Pullen, 76, as he dug through the items. They included mattresses, a sofa, a wardrobe, TVs, books, CDs, a Nintendo Wii game console and much more packed away in large boxes.

He found some personal papers and said he believed the owner to be a young woman.

Pullen figured it was a simple mix-up.

“As far as I’m concerned, someone probably contracted some incompetent person who got our house mixed up with something similar.”

But then Pullen got a call from an OPP officer who said they had pulled over a U-Haul van on Hwy. 401 near Kingston, Ont., for doing an illegal U-turn on the highway. The male driver said he and his partner were headed back to Ottawa to fix a mistake.

By late afternoon Wednesday, a van had arrived at the Pullens’ home to retrieve the belongings. The couple was told the owner of the belongings thought she had rented their house through an online classified site.

The woman said she paid the last month’s rent in cash and paid her friend to deliver her belongings to her new house. She realized she had been scammed after the items had been dropped off.


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