Vancouver: Five men and one youth are now facing charges following a concerted effort by Lower Mainland police, after a number of violent sexual assaults against women throughout Metro Vancouver since January, 2016.
The assaults took place in Burnaby, North Vancouver, on UBC Endowment Lands, and in Vancouver, though police stress that in all but one of the incidents, the assaults were committed individually. None of the women knew their attackers, and police often had very little evidence on which to base investigations.
“These crimes justifiably scared people living and working in those communities,” says Chief Superintendent Jodie Boudreau, head of Operations for the RCMP in the Lower Mainland. “Fortunately, Lower Mainland police and law enforcement have an unparalleled ability to rapidly share intelligence information, analysis, tips and more. I know this contributed to police finding these suspects and advancing charges. Our message should be loud and clear – those who prey on others will be held accountable.”
Jason Anthony White has been charged with assault, break and enter and breach in relation to an April 7th offence that took place in Vancouver.
Michal Popek for four (4) counts of sexual assault and one (1) count of Break and Enter for offences allegedly committed on March 26th,2015 and April 9th,2016 in Vancouver and on February 18th and March 6th,2016 in Burnaby.
David Singh Tucker has been charged with three (3) counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm, three (3) counts of Robbery, three (3) counts of confining a person, one (1) count of Break and Enter and commit indictable offence robbery and one (1) count of Disguising face with Intent to commit indictable offence in relation to an April 30th incident that allegedly took place within University RCMP’s jurisdiction.
Yuan Zhi Goa has been charged with one (1) count of break and enter with intent to commit indictable offence of sexual assault for that same incident.
Vaughan Englot has been charged with three (3) counts of sexual assault in relation to incidents allegedly committed in North Vancouver on January 12th and January 19th as well as in Vancouver on January 15th.
A youth, who cannot be named under the Young Offenders Act, has been charged with two (2) counts of sexual assault, two (2) counts of Indecent Act, and one (1) count of Assault in relation to incidents allegedly committed on March 3th, 4th, 5th and 6th in Vancouver.
“These men committed violent acts against women in our communities — women who should feel safe to walk, work, and go about their business without being victimized, or being concerned for their safety,” says Superintendent Mike Porteous of the Vancouver Police Department. “As a result of the courage of these women to come forward and tell their story, we have been able to take a number of these violent offenders off the street.”
After the assaults started to occur, police in Burnaby, North Vancouver, at UBC, in Vancouver and on our transit system, recognized it would take a concerted effort by all agencies to support the victims and work together to identify the offenders.
“Transit Police officers are in a unique position to track criminals through multiple jurisdictions and provide seamless support to numerous jurisdictional law enforcement agencies,” says Chief Doug LePard of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police. “Teamwork, collaboration and the vital sharing of information between police agencies will always be the best way to track down predatory criminals who operate across jurisdictional boundaries. The top priority for all law enforcement is public safety, which requires bringing all the right skills and resources together to solve serious crime.”
Police employed a variety of investigative techniques. The Real Time Intelligence Centre-BC was active doing intelligence checks on all the suspects in these investigations, and ensured any distinguishing characteristics were shared quickly among BC and Canadian law enforcement, to help identify suspects when required.
The RCMP’s Behavioural Sciences Unit analysed several years’ worth of data, offences and offenders to help narrow the search.
Investigators also commend the women who reported these crimes, who showed both bravery and strength, as they shared horrific details with police about the trauma they endured, to provide investigators the evidence needed to ensure these offenders were held accountable. Police are committed to helping these victims navigate the judicial process and hope that in time they will find some measure of resolution.
And they relied on the media to help warn the public about predators in their communities, and to encourage people to watch out for one another, and report any suspicious activity to their local police.
While Lower Mainland police are pleased that these individuals have been charged, and are being held accountable for their actions, there are unfortunately still a number of unsolved offences that they are actively investigating.
If anyone has any information regarding an offence, they are urged to contact their local police department. Additionally, if a person sees something suspicious, feels threatened, or has been victimized, they are encouraged to contact the police as soon as possible. The sooner police are aware, the sooner they can investigate and guide victims to available support services.