One of the strategic priorities for the VPD is reducing violent crime. Any violent crime is concerning, however, it’s particularly troubling when we see people victimizing some of the most vulnerable and respected members of our society – our elders.
Aside from the obvious physical injuries and long recovery time that can occur when an older person is violently robbed, it is also an attack on their dignity, self confidence, and sense of security, and can negatively affect them for the rest of their lives.
In 2005 and 2008, we told you about two projects dubbed “Oldtimer,” that we undertook in response to an increase in robberies against the elderly in the Downtown Eastside.
We put undercover officers in the potentially dangerous position of posing as an elderly person with the intention of someone robbing them so we could arrest and charge the suspect.
These two projects were successful in raising community awareness and bringing those who would prey upon the elderly to justice.
Unfortunately, there are still those who see the elderly as targets for their crimes.
Two weeks ago, we told you about a 94 year old woman who was violently robbed in the 600 block of Prior Street at about 12:30 p.m. on November 12th. As she lay helpless on the sidewalk, the thief rifled through her clothing, searching for money and valuables. The suspect ran off after a Good Samaritan came upon the scene.
Detectives from our General Investigation Unit began their investigation and on November 19th we asked for the public’s help and released a photograph of a jacket similar to the one worn by the suspect in the hope that it would generate new leads.
Additionally, officers canvassed the neighbourhood and officers with second language skills spoke with residents about personal safety in an effort to provide them with advice to reduce their likelihood of being victimized and to ease concerns in the community around this disturbing incident.
As a result of our investigation and evidence we’ve been able to gather, I’m here today to tell you that we’ve identified the suspect and a Canada-wide warrant has been issued for his arrest. We want the public’s help in locating him.
Sean Anthony Cole, a 45 year old Vancouver resident, is wanted Canada-wide for one count of robbery. He is black, 5’9” tall and about 180 lbs., with a medium build. He has short black hair and may have facial hair. He has tattoos of barbed wire around the upper portion of both his arms.
Cole has been living in East Vancouver but has past ties to southern Vancouver Island.
Sean Cole is well known to police and has a lengthy criminal history for violence and property crimes dating back to the early 1980s.
We consider Sean Cole to be dangerous and we’re asking people to not approach him and call 9-1-1 immediately if they see him.
Update: Sean Anthony Cole was sentenced in May to Two Years. He is currently serving at Williamshead Institution. He has applied for full parole. Hearing to take place on Nov 2nd.
Parole was denied on Nov 3rd.