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16-year-old girl sexually assaulted in South Burnaby

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Burnaby RCMP is warning the public and asking for their help in identifying a suspect after a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted Thursday afternoon.

The girl was walking alone near MacPherson Avenue and Rumble Street when a male approached her from behind and touched her genital area.

The victim ran away and the suspect did not follow her.

The suspect is described as being about five-foot-nine, 30 to 40 years old, with a medium build and wearing a black beanie-style hat, a black jacket and jeans.

Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John Buis said investigators are looking into whether the incident is connected to incidents last month involving a student near Moscrop secondary on Nov. 4 and a Burnaby South secondary student on Nov. 5.

In both cases, the suspect tried to engage the victims in conversation that was sexual in nature. In the Moscrop case, the suspect also grabbed the buttocks of the victim.

However, Buis said, "It doesn't appear to be [related] because the description [of the suspect] is a bit different."

Burnaby RCMP is warning people to be vigilant, to avoid walking alone, avoid dark and isolated areas and be aware of their surroundings, refraining from talking on cellphones or listening to music on headphones while walking. If it appears someone is following you, approach the nearest group of people or business and ask for help.

Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to call Burnaby RCMP at 604-294-7922 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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