Vancouver Police have launched an investigation after a stranger tried to lure an 11-year-old girl in East Vancouver Sunday night.

“Although we’re still very early in this investigation, we are releasing this information now to inform the community that this troubling incident took place,” says Sergeant Steve Addison. “We’ve obtained images of the suspect and are asking anyone who recognizes him to call our investigators immediately.”

The girl was walking home from Grays Park, near East 33rd Avenue and St. Catherines Street, around 6:40 p.m. on Sunday, when a man on a bike called out from across the street and asked her to come with him. The girl walked away, but the man followed her into the south lane of East 33rd Avenue. The child sought help from a passing motorist, who took her home. She then reported the incident to Vancouver Police.

“This child did everything right,” adds Sergeant Addison. “She sensed she was in danger, she quickly sought help, and she got to a place of safety. By calling police right away, our officers were able to begin collecting important evidence, which we hope will help us identify the suspect.

Vancouver Police have increased patrols in the neighbourhood, and investigators from the VPD’s Special Investigation Section will continue canvassing the neighbourhood for witnesses and video evidence.

The suspect, who remains unidentified, is described as a tall Caucasian man in his 30s with bushy eyebrows, a deep voice, and pronounced facial features – high cheekbones, a wide jaw, a big nose and ears and dark under his eyes. He wore a dark-coloured hoodie underneath a long sleeved, plaid flannel shirt, dark jeans, and black Doc Marten style shoes. He had a dark back pack and was riding a blue Trek mountain bike.

Anyone with information is asked to call the VPD Special Investigation Section 604-717-0604.