Residents on a quiet Garneau street are shaken after police warned that there could be a serial sexual predator targeting their neighbourhood.
Police revealed yesterday that since February, three vicious sexual assaults have occurred in the area of 111 Street and 81 Avenue, two of which were in the same house.
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“Because of the similarities in the crimes, we felt it necessary for the safety of the residents of Edmonton to be notified,” said sexual assault section detective Scott McMorran.
In each of the three attacks, the attacker forcibly entered the homes while the women were sleeping in the middle of the night.
The attacker, who is only described as a man of average build wearing dark clothing, first targeted a 24-year-old woman on an early morning in February. Police believe the man returned to the same house earlier this month and brutally sexually assaulted a 47-year-old woman who lived there.
“She’s pretty tough, she fought him off,” said a neighbour of the 47-year-old victim. “It’s a hard thing, because she’s got a young daughter too.”
The neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said she wasn’t sure if the woman’s daughter was home at the time of the attack.
“As your neighbours, you want to be there to support them, but not really ask too much,” she said.
The most recent attack took place over the weekend. The suspect broke into a house around the corner on 80 Avenue and 111 Street, then pepper-sprayed and sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman.
“Make sure they’re diligent of locking doors and windows and be aware of what they’re doing during the night, reporting any unusual circumstances or suspicious people in the area,” McMorran said, adding that police warned residents about the attacks over the weekend.