The count is now at five: the number of sexual assaults in North Burnaby since the end of January.
On Monday, Burnaby RCMP confirmed two more assaults over the weekend: one on Saturday and one Sunday.
The most recent assault appears to be the more serious of the two.
According to police, a woman had just left the Lake City Way SkyTrain station at 2:50 p.m. Sunday and was walking on a popular trail when she was approached by an unknown man and sexually assaulted. The woman was taken to hospital and received treatment.
The assault was interrupted by a Good Samaritan who scared off the suspect. The witness left prior to the police showing up to the scene.
While Mounties put out a call for the Good Samaritan to come forward, on Tuesday the RCMP’s Twitter account confirmed the man had spoken with police.
There have been a total of five assaults since Jan. 29, prompting Burnaby RCMP to create a sexual assault task force to investigate the crimes.
RCMP said it is too early to say if the incidents are linked. However, some of them have similar characteristics and for that reason police noted all five are being investigated by the task force in order to enhance the investigation.
Buis noted three of the incidents occurred at night near Holdom, while two occurred in daylight along the Burnaby Mountain Urban Trail. He also noted all the victims in the incidents were young.
The suspect in the most recent attack is described as a white man, standing five feet seven inches, wearing a soft dark hoodie pulled over his head.
“The Burnaby RCMP has considerable resources devoted to this investigation,” Buis said. “Additionally, we want to remind the public to be vigilant if you are walking alone in the trails around Burnaby or if you’re walking alone, late at night.”
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan echoed the comments by the police force, noting extra resources and overtime are being used to solve the crimes.
“It’s something that does not happen in Burnaby,” he told the NOW. “It’s incredibly unusual and one that’s motivated our police department to go out there and work to find the person who’s committing at least a few related assaults.”
Corrigan said he is worried residents don’t feel safe, and suggested when people use the park space in the city they don’t do so alone.
On March 1, a Burnaby woman was walking home from a Hastings Street bus stop when an unknown man approached her from behind, placed one hand over her mouth, pulled her toward the bushes and attempted to grope her.
On Jan. 29, a woman was walking home near Springer and Braelawn Drive at about 10:30 p.m., when she was approached by a man from behind. Investigators say the suspect, unknown to the victim, restrained her arms and groped her. Then, he allegedly hit her and fled south on Springer before turning east on Broadway
On Feb. 18, a woman was walking along a path on the urban trail around 12:40 p.m., was approached by a man and sexually assaulted.
Police said the incident happened off the main trail on a smaller path that connects to Government Street. The suspect fled into the bushes toward Lougheed mall.