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Multiple Sexual Assaults in Vancouver and BurnabyMarch 14th, 2016 | by admin admin | in News | 6
A rash of sexual assaults across Vancouver and Burnaby in the last six weeks has police asking the public for help and warning everyone to be extra vigilant.
On Saturday, March 5, at 10:15 p.m. a woman walking her dog was grabbed from behind near Alder Street and 10 Avenue in Vancouver. Fifteen minutes later, another woman was attacked near Birch Street and 13 Avenue. Both women screamed and the suspect ran off. Police have since charged a 16-year-old boy with sexual assault. There had been four previous sexual assaults in this area near Oak Street between February 24 and March 3. Full story
A teenaged girl was violently attacked at a private party on February 28 at Encore Nightclub on Granville Street. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement.
The next evening, at 8:40 p.m., a 57-year-old woman was walking along 29 Avenue, towards Rupert Street, in East Vancouver when she was grabbed from behind and groped. When she sought help at a nearby home, the suspect tried to remove her clothing and beat her. (Sketch: left, bottom)
Burnaby RCMP, meanwhile, have struck a task force to investigate a string of five sexual assaults since January 29, when a woman walking home from a SkyTrain station around 10:30 p.m. was seized from behind on Springer Street, near Braelawn. The suspect pinned her arms and groped her. When she screamed, he hit her and fled.
At 1:55 a.m. on March 1, , as a woman walked home from a bus stop on Hastings Street, a suspect put a hand over her mouth, tried to pull her into the bushes and groped her. When she screamed and fought back, he ran away. On March 5, another woman walking along Springer Street, near Brentwood SkyTrain station, was approached from behind and groped.
The other two Burnaby assaults took place during daylight on the popular Burnaby Mountain Urban Trail. On February 18, at 12:40 p.m., a woman was sexually assaulted south of Lougheed Highway, near Government Street. Sketch of suspect (Above, top).
Most recently, a woman was sexually assaulted around 2:50 p.m., shortly after leaving the Lake City SkyTrain station. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan walking along the same trail near SFU intervened and is helping police with the investigation. .
While descriptions of the suspects are similar—a Caucasian male around 5’6” to 5’8” wearing a dark hoodie—RCMP officers say the degree of violence varies and it is too early to say whether the cases are all linked.
Sources: CBC, Global, Burnaby Now, CKNW
Meanwhile, police are reminding the public not to walk alone, especially at night, and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
Here are some personal safety tips for preventing attacks from the Vancouver and Winnipeg police departments:
- Travel in pairs or in groups whenever possible.
- Be aware of your surroundings and plan a safe, well-lit route.
- Walk in the middle of the sidewalk.
- Set boundaries and keep a safe distance from strangers.
- Walk or jog facing traffic.
- When cycling, walking or jogging, avoid listening to portable music devices, such as iPods.
- If you are being followed, cross the street, turn around and get a good look at the suspect. Alert authorities.
- Carry a whistle or personal alarm in full view, and be prepared to make a scene if you are attacked.
- Do not carry a weapon, even for self-defence. Most police officers are killed in the line of duty by their own weapons.
- If you are verbally harassed, do not respond. Move on, and inform authorities.
- If you must walk home late at night from a transit stop, arrange for a friend or family member to meet you at the stop.
Did you know? If you feel your personal safety is at risk, you may—at least one stop ahead of where you wish to get off--ask a bus driver for a “request stop” between regular stops. Your driver will find a spot that he or she judges safe to stop, if there is one.
Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.
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