Letter-drop bid to track down attacker

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph

Rockingham detectives will this week renew efforts to apprehend a man they believe is responsible for two separate attacks on women in Shoalwater by distributing 4000 letters in the Safety Bay area.

The attacks came on August 5 and September 4 last year, with similar circumstances surrounding the incidents.

On both occasions the victim was walking by herself in the Shoalwater area and was listening to music through headphones before being struck from behind with a brick or paver.

Each time the attacker stole the victim’s mobile phone, purse and bank cards — but these were never subsequently activated or used.

Detective First Class Constable Ben Hoeve said that after the release of a composite image of the alleged attacker last year there had been 70 calls from the public believing they could identify the man.

However, each potential suspect was ruled out individually, while an extensive public awareness campaign, media exposure, forensics and intelligence work has failed to identify the attacker.

Det. Const. Hoeve said 4000 letters would be circulated this week in conjunction with the City of Rockingham to homes within a 2km radius of where the attacks happened.

“With two attacks in quick succession, we can see the potential for it to happen again,” he said.

“In my opinion, the person responsible will have seen the media hype around it and the exposure that it got and took a step back or they were a blow-in to this area for a couple of months.

“Being unsolved — yeah, it is a concern.”

Det. Const. Hoeve said one of the victims suffered a fractured skull and both attacks could have resulted in a fatality.

“When you think about the first victim’s injuries, there has definitely been more than one strike,” he said.

“People should be cautious if walking at night or in the dark — if you are listening to music, perhaps consider having it at a low level.

“As you leave, let someone know that you are on the way and make sure you check in.”

One of the victims told the Telegraph shortly after the attack that she feared she could have been killed.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make an online report at crimestopperswa.com.au.

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