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article imageViolent sex offender wanted Canada-wide captured in B.C. Special

By Salim Jiwa     Dec 8, 2009 in Crime
A Salvation Army employee is being praised for helping capture a violent sex offender on the run from Calgary Police since Oct. 13. Dean Zimmerman's record includes attacking a woman sexually with a toilet plunger. He was caught in Abbotsford.
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Dean Robert Zimmerman, 44, described as an extremely dangerous sex offender, is back in police custody thanks to some detective work done by an employee of a charity organization where the fugitive sought food and shelter.
A Canada-wide warrant had been issued for Zimmerman by Calgary Police and a public warning was issued by the RCMP for citizens to be careful about their safety when Zimmerman failed to return to his designated residence.
Abbotsford Police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald said Zimmerman provided a false name when police were called by an employee of the charitable organization who recognized the man.
He had been to the charity at various times in the past few days seeking food and shelter.
“Last night around 10:00 pm members of the Abbotsford Police Department’s Patrol Division attended the 34000-block of Gladys Avenue in response to a call from a worker at a charitable organization located there,” said MacDonald.
Zimmerman had provided the Salvation Army a false name and he gave the same name to police.
He had been on the run from the law since Oct. 13 and many police departments will breathe a sigh of relief at his capture.
Several police departments will be interested to know about his whereabouts, particularly areas where there have been violent sexual assaults on adult females, said MacDonald.
“He has been a fugitive since Oct. 13 and I think it would be incumbent upon all police agencies in British Columbia to take a close look,” said MacDonald. “Calgary police have said they are interested in getting a time-line on his activities since he has been on the run.”
He credited an employee at the charity for doing some preliminary detective work including digging out a police information bulletin issued two months ago.
“It was their worker who went, ‘there is something familiar about that guy’,” he said. “He did the right thing in finding a handout that was almost two months old and then contacting police.”
“We have been in close contact with Calgary and I know crown counsel have been in contact with crown in Alberta,” he said.
RCMP had warned earlier that Zimmerman was extremely dangerous: “In 2005 Zimmerman was arrested in Kamloops after being sought throughout the Western provinces for a number of violent sexual assaults.”
“He is deemed as extremely high risk to re-offend and targets adult females. The public is advised not to approach Zimmerman and to call your local police if he is spotted,” a police statement said.
His record includes a violent sexual attack with a toilet plunger on a girlfriend of an acquaintance and an assault on his own pregnant wife.
Zimmerman has been transferred to a detention facility and is likely to be flown to Calgary to face additional charges of breach of probation.
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