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Woman, 71, assaulted and robbed in downtown Nanaimo after leaving casino

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help as they investigate the assault and robbery of a 71-year-old woman in downtown Nanaimo in March.
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The woman told police she was walking down Commercial Street in downtown Nanaimo after leaving Casino Nanaimo when she was attacked by three or four men who pushed her to the ground and stole several hundred dollars. Via Google Street View

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help as they investigate the assault and robbery of a 71-year-old woman in downtown Nanaimo in March.

The woman was reluctant to report the March 22 incident at first, but decided to come forward after speaking with her husband, police said.

The woman told police she was walking along Commercial Street about 5:30 p.m. after leaving Casino Nanaimo when she was suddenly surrounded by three to four men.

One pinned her arms before pushing her to the ground, she said. The left side of her face was bruised when it hit the sidewalk, and her glasses were knocked off.

At that point, someone reached into her pocket and grabbed an envelope containing several hundred dollars.

The men, whose faces were covered by masks or shirts that were pulled up, ran off.

The victim told police she believed she was targeted because she had withdrawn cash from a TD bank and then took out more from an ATM in the casino.

The only description she could give is that the men wore dark clothing, including hoodies.

“The victim was embarrassed and left traumatized and bruised by her ordeal,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “She also realizes that she will most likely not be able to recoup her losses, but she would like to hold this group of men accountable for their actions.”

jbell@timescolonist.com