Two male suspects posing as Vancouver police assault 78-year-old woman at home

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      The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) issued a warning to citizens today (February 1) about an attack on an elderly person involving suspects who were pretending to be police.

      The VPD stated in a news release that shortly after 6 a.m. on January 31, two men who appeared to be police knocked on the front door of a residence near the west side of Queen Elizabeth Park.

      However, the two suspects were merely pretending to be police, and when the 78-year-old resident, who lives alone, answered the door and let them enter her house, they attacked her.

      She is believed to have lain injured for several hours until a friend of the victim called police for a wellness check later that morning.

      Upon arrival, officers located the victim alive but in serious condition, and she was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

      “This was a horrific and deeply disturbing crime that has left a vulnerable senior clinging to life,” VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison stated in a news release. “We don’t know yet who did this or why, and until we have more information everyone should be on guard.”

      Police are searching for the two suspects.

      The first suspect is described as a white male who is 183 centimetres (six-feet) tall with a long brown beard and a medium build. He is believed to be about 30 to 40 years old.

      The second suspect is believed to be Indigenous or Hispanic. He is the same height but has a heavy build and dark, balding hair. He is believed to be about 30 to 50 years old.

      Addison explained that there are several official indicators that people can ask for to identify if an individual is a police officer.

      “All VPD officers—whether in uniform or in civilian clothes—carry individualized police badges, ID cards, and have unique personal identification numbers,” he said.

      He added that anyone in doubt if a person is a police officer can call the VPD non-emergency line at 604-717-3321 for confirmation.

      Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the VPD Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or, for anonymous tips, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.