July 21, 2016

Rewarding 24 Hours for Missing Person Files

New Westminster – In a single, 24 hour period this week, Metro Vancouver Transit Police were involved in the successful reunions of seven missing persons with their loved ones, highlighting and reinforcing the value of an aspect of our job that most people are unaware of.

The seven missing person cases began Tuesday morning, July 19, 2016, at 08:30 am, when a woman reported that her hearing impaired daughter, who was supposed to be at Metrotown Station, could not be found. The daughter was later located, safely inside the Metrotown Mall.

Shortly after noon Tuesday, information was received concerning a 12 year old child who was missing and may have been headed to transit. Transit Police advised Coast Mountain Bus Company, who advised their bus operators, and within half an hour the child was located on a bus in Richmond.

At approximately 5:30 pm, the same day, a SkyTrain Attendant reported to Transit Police that a 13 year old Japanese home stay student, in Canada for two days and unable to speak English, was at Nanaimo Station and was lost. After several hours of our officers contacting translators, schools, other police departments, Compass emergency contacts, CBSA etc., the boy was reunited with his very relieved home stay father, who had not yet reported him missing.

Just before 7 pm, Tuesday night, an 11 year old, autistic boy who had bolted from his family home and run onto a train at Olympic Village Station, was reported to Transit Police as being at Yaletown Station. Passengers had been concerned about the partially clothed boy’s well-being and took him off the train at Yaletown while calling Transit Police. The boy was reunited with his father by Transit Police officers a short time later.

At 10:15 pm, later that night, Transit Police officers on foot patrol at Lougheed Station found a car parked at the west edge of the station, locked with the engine running, but empty. The registered owner of the car was determined to be an 80 year old woman who lived nearby but was not home. Family was notified and half an hour later the woman was safely located in the area.

At 11:15 pm, the same night, two young sisters aged 11 and 14 years, called police from the area of the Commercial and Broadway Station reporting they were stranded. They were confused by the single-tracking at the time, thought the train system was shut down and couldn’t reach anyone to pick them up.

Transit Police officers located their father and he picked them up. At 01:10 am, Wednesday morning, a man reported that his wife, who has been having memory issues, had not arrived at the Scott Road SkyTrain Station at midnight as planned. He believed he had seen her on a bus going the wrong direction. Transit Police officers retraced the route and finally located the woman outside their residence where she was without keys but safe and sound.

The number one priority for Transit Police is the safety and security of our passengers.

Although this 24 hour period saw an unusually high number of missing persons come to our attention, assisting with these types of incidents is a commonplace occurrence. Officers are called on to assist or locate a wide variety of people including children, the elderly, the physically or mentally ill, people who are suicidal or people such as tourists who have not checked in.

There are a number of ways to contact Transit Police should you wish to report someone missing that may be on the transit system or if you witness someone on the system that you believe may be in distress and need our assistance.

If on a bus, at a bus stop or loop etc., text Transit Police at 87 77 77 to make real time discreet contact, call Transit Police at 604-515-8300 or let your operator know of the issue.

If on a train, train platform or in a station area, use the same text code or phone number, push the yellow emergency strip on the inside wall of the train or use the red button intercom near the train car door.

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