Police have released the name of a suspect and some frightening details about a string of violent robberies targeting women in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and across Metro Vancouver last week.
Joon Woo Lim, 32, of Surrey, will appear in Port Coquitlam court next week to answer to 11 charges, ranging from multiple counts of robbery to dangerous driving to disguising his face with intent to commit an offences, all of which stem from a single 48-hour crime spree, police allege.
"The man is suspected in six violent robbery attempts and is alleged to have attacked some of his female victims with weapons, such as a hammer, knife and crowbar, repeatedly hitting them," said RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks, acting spokesperson for the Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service.
The attacks began at 5:40 a.m. on May 5, when a woman working in a Surrey coffee shop was attacked and robbed by a man with a crowbar shortly after the shop opened.
Then at 6:15 a.m., a woman walking to a bus stop in North Vancouver was approached by a man who pulled out a knife and stole her backpack.
Again in North Van, a woman was walking alone at around 8:30 a.m. when she was set upon by a man and struck with an unspecified weapon.
Approximately one hour later, an elderly Port Coquitlam woman was walking at the intersection of Patricia Avenue and Hastings Street when she was attacked and beaten over the head with a weapon, leaving her in hospital to receive stitches. The woman's purse was taken by the suspect.
At around 10 p.m. the same day, a woman with a young child in the back seat of her car was driving on Lansdowne Drive in Coquitlam when she was rear-ended by another car. When the woman pulled over and got out to check the damage, she was violently struck with a hammer and the assailant tried to steal her car.
Nearby residents heard the commotion caused by the attack and came to the woman's aid.
The attacker, however, got away and the woman required medical attention.
Finally, the violent string of assaults came to an end the next morning, May 6, when a woman standing with her baby on a Vancouver sidewalk was attacked and robbed of her purse.
"Police were able to track the suspect down using information obtained from one of his victims while she was having her wounds attended in hospital," said Cpl. Marks. "The Coquitlam RCMP Prolific Offender Team was actively searching for the suspected violent robber and located and arrested him in Surrey on the afternoon of May 6."
Marks continued in a press release Wednesday: "The violence in many of these attacks was extreme and it appeared the attacker did not know his victims. Finding and stopping the suspected attacker was a high priority for Lower Mainland Police and we were very pleased to get him off the streets."
Lim will remain in police custody until his appearance in Port Coquitlam court on May 18.