Vancouver Police released new video today of a man setting fire to a homeless woman’s blankets while she slept on a downtown sidewalk last month, and are appealing for tips from the public.
“This was a shocking attack that targeted a vulnerable member of our community, and we hope the public can help solve this crime,” says Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD. “Fortunately, the victim woke up just in time to put the fire out and escape serious physical injury. A few more seconds and this could have been tragic.”
The victim, a women in her 30s, was sleeping on Hamilton Street, near Queen Elizabeth Theatre, around 4 a.m. on December 13. An unknown man walked up to her, paced around, then set her belongings on fire before walking away. The fire smouldered for several minutes, then spread throughout the victim’s belongings before burning her jacket and the blankets that were keeping her warm.
The victim did not report the incident to police, and has not yet been located. She appears to be white and in her 30s. She has dark, shoulder-length hair and was wearing a grey, full-length button-up jacket.
The suspect also appears white, between 35 and 50 years old, and between five-feet-five and five-feet-ten inches tall. He wore a unique black and white Oakland Raiders jacket at the time of the crime.
Investigators would like to speak to the victim, and ask anyone else with information about this crime to call VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-669-8477.