Calgary police say one man is facing charges in connection to a string of robberies and sexual assaults throughout the city over the past few months.
In each instance, police say the suspect entered personal care businesses, demanded money at gunpoint and then sexually assaulted female employees.
Police first issued a public warning about the incidents in February, saying the same man was thought to be responsible for at least six robberies in the communities of Montgomery, Chinook and Ogden.
Earlier this month, police issued a second warning, saying it was believed the same offender had targeted another two businesses.
“This is the first time in several years that Calgary has seen a series of such targeted, stranger sexual assaults,” said Det. Timothy Fitzgibbon with the Calgary Police Service’s sexual assault investigative unit.
“Our focus was to find the suspect to stop these violent offences and to work with personal care businesses to share information, prevent further incidents and establish safety planning.”
By St. Patrick’s Day, police say they had gathered enough evidence to identify a suspect.
Officers have arrested Andrew Frank Sorenson, 36, of Calgary.
He is charged with the following offences:
- Four counts of sexual assault with a weapon;
- Four counts of armed robbery;
- Four counts of disguise with intent; and
- One count of uttering threats.
Police say additional charges are expected in the coming weeks.
“We are aware of a total of 10 events involving incidents of an armed robbery and sexual assault and encourage anyone who is a victim of this type of crime to contact police so that we can investigate,” said Fitzgibbon.
He called the attacks “concerning.”
“There was a specific targeting of a certain type of business, a certain type of victim – a victimology – so we don’t see that frequently in our community.
“They’re very infrequent – this type of case – however, it’s extremely dangerous to the people who are being victimized.”
Sorenson is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, March 29.
Anyone with information on the sexual assaults and robberies is asked to call the Calgary Police Service’s non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.
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