Police in Vancouver are issuing a warning after two men allegedly posed as officers and attacked a senior woman in her home, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.
The incident happened at about 6 a.m. Sunday, police say, when two men knocked on the door of a 78-year-old woman's home near Queen Elizabeth Park.
It's believed the woman let the men inside and then was attacked.
"This was a horrific and deeply disturbing crime that has left a vulnerable senior clinging to life," said Sgt. Steve Addison in a news release. "We don't know yet who did this or why, and until we have more information everyone should be on guard."
Police say it's likely the woman lay injured inside her home for several hours until a friend of the victim checked on her later that morning and called police. The victim was then rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
One of the senior’s neighbours, named Laverna, expressed the shock the entire neighbourhood is feeling.
"We’re just praying for her and hoping that she pulls through," she told CTV News. "We’re furious actually that this happened to our neighbour. Can’t believe it."
Laverna when on to describe the senior as a “lovely lady” who loves her flowers.
"She came to Canada as a caregiver many many years ago and took great care of all the people she was entrusted with."
Police took surveillance video from Laverna’s home and other houses in the neighbourhood.
"In our footage it looks like there was some people dropped off and picked up but we don’t know if that’s the people," she said.
The Vancouver Police Department is now looking for two suspects involved in the incident. The first is white, 6' tall and has a long brown beard and a medium build. He's believed to be between 30 and 40 years old.
The second suspect is believed to be Indigenous or Hispanic. He's about the same height, but has a heavy build and dark, balding hair. Police say he's between 30 and 50 years old.
"All VPD officers – whether in uniform or in civilian clothes – carry individualized police badges, ID cards, and have unique personal identification numbers," Addison said.
"If you have any doubt that a person you are dealing with is a police officer, please call the VPD non-emergency line at 604-717-3321 for confirmation."
Laverna said she doesn’t want to give into the fear, but said knowing the men were posing as police is deeply concerning.
"You’re supposed to open the door when you see police, you’re not supposed to panic and want to see their badge and phone the police station," she said. "What are we supposed to do now when the police answer the door?"
Addressing those involved, Laverna warned that residents all over the neighbourhood, not just on their street, have provided police with surveillance video.
"We’re all watching for you," she said. "It’s the whole entire neighbourhood that’s watching and scouring everything they can remember for the police."
Anyone with information is asked to call VPD's major crimes section at 604-717-2541. Tips can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers.