Female realtors in Metro Vancouver are being warned about a “suspicious” man who appears to be trying to get them alone.
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Ashley Smith said there have been multiple reports about the man approaching women either by phone or in person at open houses, and trying to set up private showings.
Smith said the man gets angry if the women refuse to meet him alone, or if they arrive at a showing with a partner.
“We have heard from several different members, [a] similar type of story where either they say they’re not able to meet alone or they show up to meet this individual with somebody and he either gets frustrated and indicates, ‘You said you were going to be meeting me alone,’ or he just leaves the meeting,” she said.
She said there have been incidents as recently as this weekend, and that reports have cropped up in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coqutilam and New Westminster.
He also allegedly uses different names and phone numbers to try and evade detection.
“I think we’ve heard maybe three different names, so this person is trying to be clever, to hide his identity when he’s trying to contact the realtors.”
The man is described as soft spoken, about 30 years old and allegedly uses the names David, Sean Z and Lee.
At least 15 cases have been reported to police, and a file has been opened with the Coquitlam RCMP. Vancouver police confirmed two reports in April.
“Although our officers have not located evidence of a criminal offence, we are taking these reports seriously and have assigned a detective to look into the Vancouver incidents,” said Const. Jason Doucette in an email.
A widely-circulated Facebook post by a local realtor describes the man as a “stalker,” and said the police have been “no help.”
“We need your help to get the word out please tag and share before someone gets hurt or killed,” reads the post.
Jeff Buziak, whose realtor daughter was murdered in Saanich in 2008 at a solo showing, said the situation was upsetting.
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“It’s very frightening. My daughter was in the same situation 11 years ago. She felt uncomfortable about a showing, so she shared that with friends, family, management where she worked,” he said.
“She assured me that somebody would be there with her, her boyfriend. He didn’t show up, she was stabbed to death.”
He said police should not be waiting to take action until the man commits a crime, and should instead intervene.
“They certainly can go have a chat with this person, just like they’d have with you if they felt you were being rowdy and out of place in society,” he said.
“That’s what they need to do here. When they have multiple women calling them saying they’re uncomfortable, action needs to be taken.”
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