South Etobicoke sex assault could be linked to prior incidents

Residents of south Etobicoke are being advised to take precautions after reports of break-ins and a sexual assault emerged this past weekend.

Toronto police recently reported a pair of incidents that occurred right after one another in the Royal York Road and Evans Avenue area in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In one incident, a man entered a home through a window and sexually assaulted a 63-year-old woman. He then fled the scene. Police say the suspect in this incident wore a baseball hat, a bandana over the lower part of his face and possibly had a dark, long-sleeved jacket or shirt.

In a second incident that occurred 90 minutes later, a man went into a home through its back door. He was confronted by a 30-year-old woman and fled the residence. The suspect in this case wore a long-sleeved black shirt.

Det. Steve McIlwain told CBC News today that the incident involving a sexual assault fits the pattern of a male that police believe has targeted homes in the area for some time.
“There’s a potential that it’s linked to other sexual assaults and break-and-enters that have occurred in the south Etobicoke area, southeast Etobicoke area, over the past three years,” McIlwain said.

In 2012 and 2013, similar incidents have occurred in the area from June through September. The assailant in those cases has typically entered through unlocked windows and doors. He has worn a head covering. Women have been sexually assaulted.

Police are advising residents in south Etobicoke to ensure their homes are secure. They are also asking people living in the neighbourhood to report any suspicious incidents or individuals, as well as any occasions in which things may have been moved on their properties.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 416-808-7474. Tips can also be passed on anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.

With reports from the CBC’s Michelle Cheung and Linda Ward

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