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Tips pour in as police profile rape suspect
Tips are coming in, patrols have been stepped up and criminal profilers have been called, as Langley RCMP does everything in its power to stop a rapist from striking again.
Officers were preparing to put up posters around Langley City on Wednesday that show sketches of a man believed responsible for two violent sexual assaults, the most recent one taking place on Aug. 20, near Douglas Park.
“Since we released the similar sketches on Saturday, (Aug. 24) we have had 60 tips come in that we are following up on,” said Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks.
That is in addition to the 100 tips police received after the first attack in June.
“Officers from virtually every unit have been engaged to assist in the investigation,” Marks said. “Investigators have now undertaken the arduous task of following up on each lead, no matter how small.”
Specialized profilers from the Behavioural Sciences Group are assisting.
They say the suspect is likely someone familiar with Langley, who may live here now or has lived here in the past. Police say there is a possibility the suspect has changed his appearance to avoid detection — he may have shaved his beard or changed his hair colour.
Since the two sex assaults have been publicized, no other victims have come forward, said Marks.
However, there may be other victims out there who have chosen not to go to police or people who have had interactions with the suspect. To them, Marks is making a plea to call police.
“You may have the one missing piece investigators need to conclusively identify this suspect,” she said.
“This event may have have even seemed insignificant to you at the time, but after seeing the sketch, you now wonder if you were very fortunate that day.”
Also, people who know someone who drives a silver hatchback are asked call police or Crimestoppers.
On June 22, a 16-year-old girl was waiting for a bus stop at 204 Street and 42 Avenue when she was forced into a newer model silver hatchback by a bearded man. He drove her to the parking lot of Christian Life Assembly where he sexually assaulted her at knife point.
He then drove her to the Langely bus loop and dropped her off.
The victim provided a description of her attacker and police released a sketch of the suspect two weeks after the assault.
On Aug. 20, around 8 p.m., a 19-year-old girl was walking in the 20600 block of 51B Avenue when she was attacked from behind, pushed to the ground and raped.
He threatened her with a knife and told her not to scream.
The suspect wore swimming goggles. After the assault, he took her purse and iPod before fleeing on a bicycle.
Based on the victim’s description of her attacker and how strikingly similar it is to the sketch in the June attack, RCMP believe the same man is responsible.
Call Langley RCMP at 605-532-3200 or should you need to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).