LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – The RCMP is issuing a warning about threatening phone calls to women across the Lower Mainland believed to be linked.
Police say the calls started last year – mainly to the home phones of victims but also the workplaces of some employees of lingerie and swimwear stores.
Mounties say the caller identifies the victim by name and address.
“[The caller] claims he has been watching her through cameras he allegedly installed inside her home,” says Sergeant Janelle Shoihet with the BC RCMP. “He then demands the woman engage in sexually explicit conversation with him, or the victim, or a family member would be killed. He is often described as speaking in a quiet voice.”
Police say there is no evidence at this time that any cameras have been installed and say the caller appears to be gathering information about the victims through social media and other open sources.
The caller is disguising his phone number, Shoihet said.
“If you believe that you may have been the recipient of one of these calls and have not already reported to police, we encourage you to do so now,” she said.
Should you get a similar phone call, Mounties have some tips for you:
- Record the caller’s telephone number
- Hang up, do not engage in conversation with the caller
- Immediately report the incident to your local police
- When and wherever possible block the number
- Use an unlisted name and number
The calls began in early 2017, but Shoihet says it wasn’t until recently that police began to notice a pattern across the Lower Mainland.
“One of the investigators in Surrey had a call and thought ‘this actually sounds kind of familiar to another call that I had,'” she said. “Then we started to look and track back and we realized there was some linkage with the telephone numbers.”