Alberni senior victim of home invasion

An 84-year-old man is recovering after a home invasion Jan. 24 that Alberni RCMP suspect is the third in three weeks.

Another senior citizen in Port Alberni has been the target of a home invasion.

Police were called to a residence in the 2500 block of 10th Avenue at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night (Jan. 24). There, they found an 84-year-old man who’d been robbed, Cpl. Jen Allan said.

The man said he answered the door after the bell rang and was confronted by a male who pushed the elderly man to the ground, took his wallet and rummaged through other areas of the home before fleeing.

RCMP brought a police dog in to track the suspect but never found him.

The suspect is described as being Caucasian, 40-50 years in age and wearing dark clothing. “The victim couldn’t describe the man’s hair length, height or weight,” Allan said.

The incident is similar to two others that have occurred this month, and has investigators from three different branches of the RCMP working overtime to solve.

On Jan. 13, Marvin Hankins, 75 was found dead in his Fourth Avenue home.  And on Jan. 10, 83-year-old Reino Koivunen was robbed in his home.

Police haven’t established firm links between the incidents but there are similarities. “Each victim was a senior citizen, they lived alone and they were robbed of items,” Allan said.

Sixteen investigators from three different RCMP agencies continue to work the case.

Police are working with local agencies that work with seniors to get the word out for them to be cautious, review security plans and to establish more regular contact with them, Allan said.

The crimes are unusual because seniors are usually victims of fraud by scammers and telemarketing schemes, Allan said.

“This is not typical of Port Alberni,” Allan said of the three incidents. “It’s an unusual crime for here.”

Allan would not say if there is a new breed of criminal in the Valley, or if criminals here have resorted to a new method. “It’s too early to say,” she said.

Police have established a tip line for information on the incidents: 250-724-8949, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-247-8477.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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