Military imposter messes with wrong crowd in Lynn Valley
Matthew Ramsey The Province Original article link© The Vancouver Province 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
An alleged cross-country con man messed with the wrong people when he tried his bogus Afghanistan war-vet act at Lynn Valley Legion, Branch 114.
Branch sergeant-at-arms and veteran Jim Jacox met the man who signed in to the Legion as "Randy Purves."
"I asked him how he was and who he was and he said he just returned from Afghanistan," said Jacox, 58, who served two years with the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry. "I bought him a beer, naturally."
Then Jacox grew suspicious. The suspect claimed he had been promoted in Afghanistan, but missed a rank. He said he'd flown to YVR directly from Kandahar -- not military procedure. He got the name of the plane wrong.
When the man claimed he still had Kandahar mud on his boots, Jacox noted the boots were not military issue, nor were the man's pants.
Off-duty RCMP officer Rob Pearson asked the man for ID. The suspect was arrested when he couldn't produce any.
"I wonder why we fight when we produce people like this," Jacox said yesterday. "How could he live with himself as imposter, represent himself as an Armed Forces vet when our men and women are dying over there?"
Randolph Purves is charged with unlawful use of a military uniform and impersonating an officer. He was released from custody on condition he not possess military, police, sheriff or fire uniforms, insignia or identification. North Vancouver RCMP suggest Purves may have impersonated other emergency providers locally.
Purves' next court appearance is May 3 in North Vancouver. He has been accused of similar scams in Quebec. His name is referenced as a "true hero" by a woman writing online from Nova Scotia, a Cloverdale woman put him up at her home for a week earlier this year and a Delta Legion member gave him $125 in January.
The name Randy Purves also surfaced in April when a man using that name in Mission claimed to be a former volunteer firefighter from Glace Bay, N.S.
© The Vancouver Province 2007Edited by Vern to correct spelling of poser's last name in Topic Title.