What is it about Abbotsford?

A convicted rapist wanted on three Canada-wide warrants since October was arrested Monday night in Abbotsford.

Dean Robert Zimmerman, 44, was taken into custody by Abbotsford Police at the Salvation Army in the 34000 block of Gladys Avenue around 10 p.m. Monday after an alert worker recognized the man and called police.

Zimmerman had been staying there for several days and lying to staff about his name.

According to Const. Ian MacDonald with the APD, one of the employees did some digging because the wanted sex offender looked familiar, and discovered Zimmerman’s true identity.

“He was going under a false name and it tweaked with the worker that something wasn’t right,” said MacDonald.

Zimmerman’s face was plastered across newspapers and television screens this fall as part of a high-profile media blitz following his disappearance from a Calgary residence on Oct. 13, just two weeks after serving a 40-month federal sentence for forcible confinement and sexual assault.

His release conditions were subject to maintaining a known address and obeying a curfew, but he vanished, and was last seen wearing cold weather clothing and toting a large backpack.

Calgary police issued warrants in October on Zimmerman for breaching conditions and fraud, and issued a public warning they suspected he would head for British Columbia.

MacDonald said because of Zimmerman’s violent sexual history, investigative officers want to construct a timeline of his travels to connect any possible predatory interactions he may have had while eluding custody.

“He’s violent. There was definitely a risk to our community and every community he was present in since Oct. 13 was at risk.”

While MacDonald said at this point there were no sexual assaults reported in the Abbotsford area that fitted Zimmerman’s profile, that doesn’t mean he may not have attacked someone here.

“It’s incumbent on all police agencies where he might have been to re-assess all of their relevant files to determine any instances that may correlate to Zimmerman,” he said.

Anyone with information about Zimmerman’s whereabouts or activities from Oct. 13 until now are urged to contact Calgary Police at 1-403-262-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun


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