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UPDATE: Police urge residents to ‘remain vigilant,’ secure property, in wake of violent home invasion

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Tara Jeffrey

Sarnia Police continue to investigate and urge residents to secure their properties and ‘remain vigilant’ following a violent home invasion that occurred near Earlscourt Drive and Exmouth Street over the weekend.

Police say a suspect entered a home in the 700 block of Earlscourt Drive around 2 a.m. Saturday, where an elderly couple was sleeping.

“The victims were awoken by a lone male suspect brandishing an edged weapon, demanding property from them,” Sarnia Police stated. “The suspect attacked the male using the weapon causing lacerations to the victim’s head.

“The suspect then fled the residence and is believed to have travelled north.”

The victim, an 81-year-old man, sustained multiple edged-weapon lacerations to his head and defensive wounds to his hands, which required approximately 100 stitches and resulted in a skull fracture, police said.

He was treated at Bluewater Health and is now recovering at home with family.

Police do not believe that the victim was known to the suspect, nor was the victim specifically targeted.

“Until this suspect is in custody, area residents are asked to ensure their properties are secured and to remain vigilant within their neighbourhood,” Sarnia Police Chief Derek Davis said in a statement. “Any suspicions observations or information pertaining to this matter should be reported to police immediately.

“Information has been obtained that the same suspect may have attempted to commit other crimes of opportunity including trying to gain access garages/houses that same evening/early morning,” police added. “The property stolen from the victim’s residence include perishable food items and other small items.”

Investigators have released a video of a person of interest, posted to the Sarnia Police Twitter and Facebook pages, noting the individual is not a suspect at this time, “but police are interested in speaking with him.”

Residents in that area are being asked to review any security camera activity for the evening of July 22 between the hours of midnight and 3am.

“The level of violence inflicted on this unsuspecting and vulnerable victim is deeply upsetting,” Davis added. “I am also concerned about the randomness of this attack and the public safety risks inherent with that.

“The SPS has dedicated all available investigative and patrol resources to this investigation and we hope to bring this to a swift conclusion.”

Anyone who has information, or recognizes the individual in the video, should contact Sarnia Police at the number below or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 if you wish to remain anonymous.

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