The woman was travelling home alone and on foot late at night in the 4800-block of Smith Avenue around 1:40 a.m. when she was approached from behind by a man who knocked her to the ground after a struggle. She screamed and the suspect fled the area.
He is described as having light skin, short dark hair, about 5’11, approximately 165 lbs and wearing a black coat and black pants.
While police can’t say if there is a link between this assault and the homicide of Elmer Libertino on April 16, investigators acknowledge that both incidents took place in the same area, close to the same time and with people who were on foot , which has prompted the public warning.
Please trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings and if at all possible travel in pairs, especially if you are out walking late at night, said Staff Sgt. Major John Buis. He added that numerous resources including Burnaby’s Serious Crime Unit, are working on this investigation and also working closely with IHIT to determine what if any links between the two incidents.
It should be noted that no other stranger assaults have been reported in Burnaby in the past month.
Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police, Buis said.
If you have any information on who might be responsible for this assault, or if you have seen any suspicious activity in the area, please call Burnaby RCMP at 604-294-7922 or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).