Police fielding more complaints over Amber Alert

While the Amber Alert program has been attributed to helping locate two children and their elderly grandfather early Thursday (July 11) morning, police have fielded more complaints from the public.

In a social media post, the York Regional Police noted that 70-year-old Leo Easton and his two grandchildren – aged two and four – were found driving along Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto as a “direct result” of the Amber Alert being issued.

The trio had last been seen in Newmarket at 1:30 p.m. when they dropped off Easton’s wife for a medical appointment.

“He was supposed to park the 2006 Blue Pontiac Montana van that he was driving, however investigators believe that for unknown reasons he drove away from the area,” reads a media release from police.

“Investigators do not believe that the children have been taken with malicious intent however they are concerned for the wellbeing of Mr. Easton and his grandchildren. Mr. Easton is likely to appear lost and confused. He resides in the City of Pickering and is not familiar with the Newmarket area.”

All three were located by Toronto police in good health.

In a media release issued later in the morning, the OPP noted that it has fielded a number of complaints regarding the Amber Alert.

“The OPP would like to remind the public that calling 911 or any emergency service communication centre is not an appropriate venue to complain about Amber Alerts,” it reads.

“The decision to utilize the Ontario Amber Alert is based on established criteria and is not taken lightly. In 2019, there has been five Amber Alerts activated. As a direct result of these Alerts, four assisted in the safe return of the child/children and one with the apprehension of a suspect.  The OPP recognizes the inconvenience the Alert may have caused but will not apologize for using all of the tools available to help locate a child.”

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