Off-duty cop helps thwart Niagara Falls robbery, threatened with knife


Published February 9, 2023 at 10:08 am

What started as a woman trying to leave a Niagara Falls Walmart without paying for some items escalated quickly for an off-duty Niagara Police officer, who was allegedly threatened by her companion with a knife.

On Feb. 8 at 6:40 pm, the police received a call about an attempted theft in the Walmart at 7481 Oakwood Drive and that an off-duty officer had jumped into the situation.

Police say a woman approached the exit with some unpurchased items and was trying to leave even as store security had stopped her. As she tried to dodge security, the off-duty cop intervened to help the employee.

However, at this point, a male accomplice to the struggling woman allegedly pulled a knife and threatened to stab the officer.

Uniformed officers were on the scene and they successfully intervened, arresting the suspects without injury to anyone involved. The knife was seized and taken as evidence.

Jodi Bella Poulin, 41, of Niagara Falls has been charged with theft under $5,000

Wayne K.J. Griffiths, 47, of Niagara Falls was charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon and uttering threats.

Both have been released and are scheduled to appear in court on March 3 at the courthouse in 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.

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