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Local Crime Roundup: Child Exploitation and Home Invasion

June 1st, 2011 | by admin admin | in News |    1   comments

Local police forces have been busy lately. Besides handing out drug trafficking charges against two Vancouver airport security screeners, the RCMP arrested a 27-year-old New Westminster resident, Brandon Parisien, for trying to lure a 13-year-old girl. And a man posing as a utility company employee forced his way into a home on Vancouver’s west side and tried to grab a woman living there.

Parisien was caught by a successful RCMP sting operation. Through an internet chat room, he met someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl and tried to lure her to have sex with him. The “child” turned out to be an officer with the RCMP child exploitation unit. The first rule of internet safety: remember people may not be whom they seem to be online. That cute boy your daughter wants to meet could be, well, some pedophile living across town.

That’s why you need to establish reasonable house rules and guidelines for computer use. Your children should understand the dangers of revealing personal information -- such as their real name, school, schedule, contact information etc. – on social networking sites or in chat rooms. Many kids don’t realize that images they post online or send via webcam can spread all over the Internet. They could make a snap decision they’ll regret later.

Ensure your children feel free to tell you about anything that makes them uncomfortable online, including suggestive or threatening remarks. And meeting any online friends in person can be risky – they should never do so without telling you. Check out the VPD’s tips for parents, including internet safety advice. You will also find excellent internet safety resources in our upcoming summer newsletter – sign up today.

Meanwhile, Vancouver police are still looking for a suspect in a bold home invasion. A blonde male wearing a reflective construction vest and hard hat fled the 4500 block of NW Marine Drive around 12:30 p.m. on May 25. [See full description.] He had forced his way into the home after a resident asked him for identification. He then tried to grab one of the victims, but both residents escaped and called 9-1-1. Although the police believe this was an isolated incident, it’s a good reminder to take precautions. The VPD offers the following tips:

  • Keep your doors locked at all times. If there is a knock at the door, verify the identity of the person through a peephole before you open it.
  • Make sure your door is made of solid wood or metal, and install a metal frame.
  • Place a security film or Plexiglas on the inside of your windows
  • Take a cordless phone to the door with you when someone knocks.

To find out about crimes in your neighbourhood, visit Radius Security’s Vancouver Area Crime Maps page. Vancouver residents can also sign up for VPD Crime Alerts.

Author: Susanna Chu

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