Vancouver police have released video 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.
The victim, a women in her 30s, was sleeping on Hamilton Street, near Queen Elizabeth Theatre, at around 4 a.m., on December 13. Police say 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.
“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 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.
Investigators would like to speak to the victim.
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 assault.
Anyone with information about the crime or suspect is asked to call Vancouver Police at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
WATCH: VPD seek arsonist who targeted sleeping homeless woman