Updated: Assailant targets lone woman near Illecillewaet River
Revelstoke RCMP are appealing for public assistance following a mid-afternoon mugging on Monday in a popular outdoor recreation area.
Police say a lone female was sitting alone in a wooded area near the Illecillewaet River at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 21.
She was approached by a stranger who was riding a white bicycle. He asked her for a cigarette. The man then reached out and grabbed her purse. They struggled briefly and the man eventually wrested the purse from her and fled.
The female victim received some minor bruising in the struggle. Police managed to recover some of her possessions near the scene.
Revelstoke RCMP provided the following description of the attacker:
- about 40 years old
- slim build
- about 180 cm tall (5' 9")
- short, stubbly beard
- wore a white Nike shirt
- black jacket
- black pants
- wearing a black Kangol brand hat (Kangol is a brand name. Kangol hats come in many shapes and styles, but they all feature a distinctive kangaroo logo)
"This is a very unusual type of offence for Revelstoke," said Revelstoke RCMP Staff-Sgt. Jacque Olsen in a statement. "Although the police believed this to be a random crime of opportunity, the public is reminded to always beware of your surroundings and to report anything suspicious."
In a telephone interview, Olsen said the incident had originally been reported as a sexual assault, but RCMP are now classifying the incident as described above.
The RCMP were canvassing in town on Monday evening, looking for the man described above in connection with a "sexual assault." A local bar manager confirmed to the Times Review that police officers came in and were looking for a man with a Nike shirt and Kangol brand hat on Monday evening.
Olsen said that police only have a description; they don't have a suspect in the incident.
Olsen sought to downplay community fears about the incident, saying it appeared to be a "one-off" incident at this point. Police continue their efforts to identify the individual involved in the incident, but Olsen said that at this point police weren't overly concerned about the trail network around the Illecillewaet River because it is a relatively high pedestrian traffic area.
Revelstoke RCMP request you call the detachment at 250-827-5255, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.