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VPD Crime Alerts: Assault and ArsonAugust 9th, 2011 | by admin admin | in News | 12
A woman was assaulted while walking near the Joyce Street SkyTrain Station shortly after midnight on August 4. Fortunately, the victim scared off her attacker by struggling and screaming. A resident living nearby also came to her aid. The suspect, a white male, 5'7" tall with a slender build, was last seen running westbound along Wellington from Aberdeen Street. He was wearing dark clothing.
An hour later, across town, police officers and firefighters responded to the latest in a string of suspicious fires to strike Vancouver. Since June 3, one or more persons have set fires, broken windows and overturned garbage bins in the Shaughnessy and South Granville neighbourhoods. They have caused significant damage to homes, fences, garages and vehicles.
Do you live close to these neighbourhoods? Were you aware of these incidents? Visit the Vancouver Police web site for more information. To track crimes like these in your neighbourhood, Vancouver residents can sign up for VPD crime alerts by postal code. Radius Security’s web site also provides links to crime maps for many Lower Mainland municipalities.
The victim in the first incident was wise to attract attention by screaming. It worked. In March, the victim in a similar attack on the West Side also escaped by shouting angrily. Our blog post about it discussed strategies for protecting yourself against such attacks.
The Vancouver Police, meanwhile, are warning Vancouver residents to be vigilant against arson and vandalism. Call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity.
Since many of the fires were started with materials available in back lanes and near garages, clear away excess debris and garbage cans from outside your garage or home. All the incidents took place between midnight and 10 a.m., so try to put out your garbage in the morning, rather than overnight.
Then there are the CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) principles. Maintain sight lines by trimming shrubs and hedges. Improve lighting around your property. Check your motion sensors.
You may also want to consider installing a video surveillance system. An inexpensive camera could capture video evidence to help investigators. A monitored system could catch the culprit in the act. Whatever the solution, simply installing a system could deter vandals. And, in the event of a fire, a smoke detector and sprinklers could save your life.
Author: Susanna Chu