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Down the street just off Main on 6th Avenue, Lauren Santos has worked at the Whip for five years. Her boyfriend picks her up when her shift ends.
“This is the first time I’ve experienced anything so serious and so close to our restaurant,” Santos said. “Being women, we always have to look over our shoulders. This being so close, it makes you even more aware.”
The white man is described as in his late 20s or early 30s and of slim build. In one occurrence he was wearing a baseball cap. The latest incident was reported on Sept. 21 when a women walking on Scotia Street near Broadway was approached around 10:30 p.m. by a man driving a silver four-door sedan.
Vancouver police said none of the calls they’ve received reported an attempted abduction, but are taking the incidents seriously and have been talking to local businesses to see if they can find any video footage.
The VPD sex crimes unit is involved, Const. Tania Visintin said. Police carried out an extensive search for the vehicle, but weren’t able to find it, she added.
“We are urging anyone who has experienced something similar to please call us,” she said. “Also, if anyone is ever in any circumstance where something just doesn’t feel right, we want them to listen to their gut instincts and call 911.”
Like all the pubs and restaurants polled, employees at Five Point praised a strong sense of community in Mount Pleasant, a neighbourhood in which people look out for each other.
Server Ashley Andriashyk said within two hours of the initial social-media post warning women about the man in the car, someone shared it with her. Then she lost count of how many others people did the same.
“I live in the area and I work in the area,” she said. “I’ve lived on Main Street for 12 years and have never really been worried before. … I took mostly back alleys home, but not anymore.”