AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

  • Jun. 25, 2019 10:00 a.m.

After a Port Alberni woman was assaulted last week, RCMP are warning people to call for police assistance if they observe a crime in progress.

On the evening of Saturday, June 22, Port Alberni RCMP responded to a fight in progress in the Gertrude Street and Southgate Road area.

According to RCMP, a vehicle owner confronted a female suspect that she had observed taking property from her vehicle and was assaulted in response. When the vehicle owner attempted to retreat, she was pursued and assaulted again.

On arrival, officers arrested the suspect on warrants. She is currently being held in custody, pending a sentencing report on July 31.

The vehicle owner was transported to West Coast General Hospital for treatment.

Port Alberni RCMP are advising residents to keep their homes, storage sites and vehicles locked at all times, and to keep property out of sight.

“Thieves are opportunistic and will seek sites with easy access to prevent drawing attention to their acts,” said St. Peter Dionne of the Port Alberni RCMP detachment in a press release. “If an offence is in progress, the first response must be to call for police assistance—do not engage or confront the suspect. Advise the call taker of the urgency of the offence in progress and stay on the phone to provide updates if possible.”

Suspect behaviour, he explained, is unpredictable. For public safety, it is “paramount” that the police respond to the incident with their tools and training.

“Prevent offences first by securing property, engage the police to protect yourself in the event of an incident, don’t put yourself in harm’s way,” said Dionne.

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