Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Walter Gretzky, father of Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky, waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Jan. 17, 2017.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

A senior Ontario Provincial Police officer is one of two people arrested as a result of an investigation into thefts of memorabilia from Wayne Gretzky’s childhood home in Brantford.

OPP spokesman Bill Dickson confirmed Wednesday evening that Inspector June Dobson, the commander of the force’s Grenville detachment, has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.

He said that Dobson is on a leave of absence unrelated to the case. The reason cannot be disclosed because of privacy guidelines, a statement issued by the OPP said.

On Tuesday, Brantford police revealed that they had been contacted in August by the Gretzky family when valuable items were found to be missing from the home of Walter Gretzky, the father of the Hall of Fame hockey player.

An investigation was undertaken, during which it was discovered that some of the items had been sold to collectors across Canada. Because multiple jurisdictions were involved, assistance was sought from the RCMP and OPP.

Search warrants were issued for residences where it was believed stolen property was located, and on Dec. 8 items were seized from five homes in Ontario and Alberta. Among the items was the plaque given to Gretzky for winning the 1983-84 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most-valuable player, his jersey from the 1997 all-star game, a sweater he wore while playing for the Los Angeles Kings, and autographed game-used sticks and pairs of game-worn gloves.

Brantford police did not identify the two individuals arrested, but said one was as a 58-year-old man from Oakville and the other a 58-year-old woman from Brockville, Ont. The OPP verified Dobson’s identity while saying its officers are held to a higher standard than other citizens.

“The OPP treats and investigates police officers accused of breaking the law in the same manner as it investigates any other individual,” its statement said. “Criminal investigations of OPP officers are the responsibility of the police service of jurisdiction, but the OPP Professional Standards Unit opens a parallel, non-criminal investigation after the criminal investigation is resolved.“

Officers found to have broken the law are subject to additional disciplinary proceedings, including possible demotion and dismissal, depending on the circumstances, the statement said.

The OPP said that evidence of fraud involving a second individual related to the Gretzky memorabilia was uncovered during the initial investigation, but the charges against Dobson were not related to the larger investigation for theft. The two did not know one another, a news release said.

Brantford police said the male has been charged with theft over $5,000 and possession over $5,000. The investigation is ongoing. None of the charges have been proven in court.

Glen Gretzky, Wayne’s brother and a family spokesman, said they are thankful for the efforts of all the officers involved.

“On behalf of our family, I would like to thank [everyone] for everything they have done,” Glen Gretzky said in a statement released by Brantford police. “I would like to sincerely thank every member of the team. The professionalism, dedication and support they have shown has been greatly appreciated.”

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe