Calgary police concerned after multiple incidents of sexual assault
CALGARY -- Calgary police are searching for a suspect who they believe is responsible for at least 15 groping attacks on women since last November.
Officials say they've been notified about a number of sexual assaults in downtown and north-central Calgary, as well as several in Mission, Thorncliffe, Huntington Hills and Hillhurst.
The most recent incident occurred Tuesday in Thorncliffe.
Police say in each incident, the female victim was walking alone when an unknown male grabbed them in an inappropriate fashion.
In some reports, the suspect waits for an opportune moment when his victim is distracted, such as when they are looking at a device or inside a bag.
Police say the assaults have occurred during the day and at night and the suspect quickly flees after the incident.
Investigators are working to determine if the incidents are connected to a single individual or if more than one person is involved.
There is no suspect description at this time as the reports from victims have been inconsistent.
In the meantime, police ask any other victims of these attacks to come forward.
"Under the Criminal Code of Canada, groping is classified as a sexual assault and, upon conviction, can be subject to jail time," police said in a release.
Officials also advise all Calgarians to stay safe when out in public and take proper precautions such as:
- Walk with others or stick to well-populated areas;
- Stay in well-lit areas out in the open;
- Be aware of your surroundings;
- Consider limiting using devices that could distract you and;
- Limit what items you are carrying in order to protect yourself if necessary.
If you are attacked, police say you should:
- Make a lot of noise to create attention;
- Do not attempt to retain any bags or valuables;
- Pay attention to the physical attributes of your attacker and what they are wearing and;
- Call 911 immediately.