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Police ask for assistance in identifying suspect in sexual assault

Police Notebook:

By: Christina Waldner

  |  Posted: Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 10:28 am

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying these two men. (Left) This man allegedly stole a vacuum from Costco in Balzac on July 30. (Right) This man is wanted in connection to the theft of an iPad from London Drugs on April 24.
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying these two men. (Left) This man allegedly stole a vacuum from Costco in Balzac on July 30. (Right) This man is wanted in connection to the theft of an iPad from London Drugs on April 24.
AIRDRIE RCMP/Rocky View Publishing

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An Airdrie woman was sexually assaulted on the west side of Airdrie on July 28, according to RCMP.

The woman was out for a walk when a man came up behind her, touched her on her backside and slide his hand forward between her legs.

RCMP Media Liaison Constable Jason Curtis would not confirm the exact location or time the assault took place, and also would not divulge the age of the woman.

“We don’t want to re-victimize the victim by giving out any information that could positively identify her,” he said.

The victim yelled out and the suspect ran away, according to RCMP. Curtis said the victim heard the man say something about him believing her to be someone else.

RCMP said the suspect was unknown to the victim.

He is described by RCMP as being Caucasian, in his mid 30s, 5’8” to 5’10” tall with a slender build.

He was wearing light, paint-stained work clothes and a white, greenish bandana.

RCMP cannot confirm whether or not this sexual assault is related to one that occurred at a home in Sagewood on June 29.

“Obviously we’re going to investigate everything and see if there are any coincidences or similarities between the two cases,” said Curtis.

Theft from Costco

Airdrie RCMP is asking for the public’s help to identify a man who stole an expensive vacuum cleaner from the Costco near CrossIron Mills mall In Balzac on July 30.

Staff at the Costco told RCMP the man entered the store at 5 p.m., took a $600 vacuum cleaner off the shelf and went to the returns counter to try to return it. When he was asked for his membership card, staff said he told them it was in his vehicle and he left the building with the vacuum cleaner.

When he failed to return, staff realized what had happened and called RCMP, according to Curtis.

He was caught on video surveillance and is described as Caucasion, in his 30s, with dark hair and is approximately 5’7” tall with an average build. He was wearing a blue patterned shirt and jeans.

Curtis said staff told RCMP they heard other Costco stores in the Calgary area had been targeted by the same suspect.

“It was a pretty tricky little scheme. It worked. Their staff is certainly going to be advised to be a bit more diligent now,” said Curtis.

“At the same time, we all have a truth bias. We want to think that people aren’t lying to you, and people aren’t looking to hurt you or take things from you. Unfortunately, sometimes people are.”

iPad stolen

RCMP is asking the public for help to solve a crime at London Drugs on April 25. A man walked into the store’s computer department and stole an Apple iPad from behind the counter, according to Curtis.

The store manager reported the theft to RCMP, he added. Curtis was not able to confirm the time the theft occurred.

Curtis said the time lapse between when the theft occurred and when RCMP released the surveillance photos is related to the time investigators need to ensure they have identified the right suspect.

“Sometimes we don’t want to release the photos right away in the event our investigation finds that’s just some poor guy that happened to be walking out,” he explained.

“We want to be sure we’re not implicating a member of the public (who) is innocent.”

Images of the man were caught on the store’s surveillance cameras on two separate occasions.

Assault charges laid

Airdrie RCMP said they arrested a Calgary man, Albert Koe, 48, after receiving a number of calls from concerned citizens who witnessed him assault a woman near the corner of Veteran’s Blvd. and Main Street on July 29.

Curtis said officers arrived at the scene at 6 p.m. One motorist stayed at the scene and was able to provide RCMP with a statement. According to Curtis, the motorist witnessed Koe strike a woman in the face.

The woman then ran away and Koe laid down in the road, where he was found by RCMP.

Curtis described Koe as being intoxicated when he was arrested. Because he was not driving, Curtis said Koe was not given a breathalyzer test.

Koe has been charged with assault as well as causing a disturbance.

He was also found to have other outstanding warrants. Information about those outstanding warrants was not available, according to Curtis.

The woman, who cannot be identified as she is not being charged in this incident, was later found by police.

Curtis said Koe was transported to the Calgary Remand Centre where he remains pending a bail hearing and a court date. Once a court date has been determined, Koe will appear to answer to the charges in Airdrie Provincial Court.

If you have any information on any crime, call the Airdrie RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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