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Masked flasher runs Westwood trail

RCMP were called out, but were unable to track down a man who exposed his genitals to two women jogging around Westwood Lake on Tuesday night.

The incident happened about 7:30 p.m. on the west side of the lake trail.

The women told police they saw a short Caucasian man running towards them wearing a black windbreaker with his pants open and his genitals exposed.

The man ran past the women who kept jogging in the opposite direction to put some distance between them and the suspect before calling police.

The women told police the suspect appeared to be in his late 50s and was possibly wearing a mask because his face was extremely wrinkly and appeared mask-like. He also wore a black hoodie with the hood pulled tight over his head and face.

Members attended, but did not find the suspect.

Westwood Lake Park, used by thousands of runners, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts has been the scene of several similar incidents in recent years.

Police recommend people jogging in Nanaimo's parks and trails use the following safety tips:

Run or walk with a friend.

Be aware of your surroundings and stay aware of who is behind you and who may be approaching

If wearing ear buds, keep the volume at a level so you can hear someone approaching.

Carry a cellphone or whistle with you and report any incident to the police immediately.

Always tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back.

If confronted, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

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