Volume 91, Issue 56

Thursday, January 8, 1998

El nino


Police warn students of masked perpetrator

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

London police are looking for an average-size male wearing a ski suit and mask as a result of two suspicious incidents that occurred last weekend.

Shortly after 5 a.m. on Jan. 3, London police were called to a ground-floor apartment of a building in the 600 block of Talbot Street. A female reported she was awakened by the sound of someone trying to break into her front door, explained London police Sgt. John O'Flaherty.

A few minutes later she saw a person looking in her bedroom window wearing a ski mask, he explained. The perpetrator did not enter the building or the female's apartment.

Shortly after this incident occurred, at approximately 5:40 a.m. police were called to a similar scene in a ground floor apartment building at Springdale and Wharncliffe Roads, where a female was awakened by the sound of someone moving inside her apartment.

The female reported the intruder attempted to attack her but eventually fled has she fought him off. She sustained only minor injuries, O'Flaherty said. He added police are investigating how the intruder entered the apartment as there was no sign of forcible entry and all security devices were in place. "We have no idea how he got inside."

O'Flaherty said the suspect is male, approximately five-foot-ten or 11 inches tall and approximately 180 pounds. He was reported to be wearing a purple ski suit with blue or black trim, gloves and a dark ski mask. "We are currently investigating both of these incidents to determine whether or not they are related – we can not just assume they are," O'Flaherty added.

He urged students to call police if they feel they are being followed or see someone suspicious loitering around a building. "Be sure your door is locked, even if you live in a building with controlled entry," he added.

Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department encourages students who are concerned about their safety on or off campus to call the campus police for advice.

"There are a lot of simple things you can do to improve your personal safety, like putting a broom stick in a sliding patio door for example," she said. She advised students to walk home in pairs whenever possible, be cautious of giving out personal information to strangers and to always lock doors and close blinds at night.

"If you find yourself in the position of facing an attacker, go for sensitive areas such as the eyes, nose or groin. Always try to run away – your legs are your best weapon," McGowan added.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998