Police report 18 street robberies in Abbotsford this year

Incidents have taken place across the community and almost all the victims were under the age of 30

This map shows the location of 15 street robberies that took place in the city from Jan. 1 to May 9. As of May 18

This map shows the location of 15 street robberies that took place in the city from Jan. 1 to May 9. As of May 18

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is warning the public about a rash of street robberies that have taken place this year.

A total of 18 robberies occurred from Jan. 1 to May 18 in various locations throughout the city and involved the victims being confronted in public places. Items such as cellphones, cash and jewelry were taken.

Const. Ian MacDonald said although the total is not “extraordinary” compared to the typical numbers of such incidents, police are concerned about the violence that has accompanied some of them.

He said in one case about a week ago at a park off High Drive, two men had gone out for an early-morning smoke when they were swarmed and beaten by up to eight men.

One of the victims lost consciousness, and both were taken to hospital by ambulance.

MacDonald said suspect descriptions in the 18 robberies have varied, but all are described as young men.

The culprits have produced weapons that include knives and cutting shears, and the majority of crimes have involved at least two suspects.

On five occasions, the thieves wore masks or balaclavas to cover their faces.

All but two of the victims have been male, and 15 of them were under the age of 30.

MacDonald said the victims have suffered a range of injuries that have been minor or required hospitalization.

He said more than one-third of these incidents took place on Saturdays and almost all occurred after 4 p.m.

The robberies have occurred with both the suspects and victims arriving in the same area on foot, and they tend to take place in less-populated and less well-lit areas, including Mill Lake Park and the Bourquin bus loop.

“Although APD investigators feel that some of these incidents are not random, we still want citizens to be aware and to elevate their personal safety practices,” he said.

MacDonald recommended that people walk in pairs or groups and stay near busier locations with good lighting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the APD at 604-859-5225, text 222973 (abbypd) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.