Dunstable sex attack

In the early evening of 21 February 2013, a young woman was sexually assaulted in Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Fact titleFact data
Crime date
21 February 2013
Nature of crime
Serious sexual assault
Where
Shell Petrol Station and Tomlinson Avenue, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Contact
Incident room number
01707 355 959
Crimestoppers

What happened?

In the early evening of 21 February 2013, a young woman was sexually assaulted in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

At approximately 19:00 the victim, who is in her late 20s, was leaving the Shell petrol station in Poynters Road, Dunstable, when a man approached her as she was driving off the forecourt. Despite this being a busy petrol station, the man got into the victim’s dark grey 4x4 vehicle.

He quickly produced a knife and forced the victim to drive to Tomlinson Avenue, a residential street just a few minutes away. Here, at a few minutes after 19:00, an assault of a serious sexual nature took place at knifepoint. The attack lasted approximately ten to fifteen minutes and eventually stopped when the victim managed to sound the car horn and switch on the internal light in an attempt to attract the attention of anyone nearby. She grabbed for the knife and a struggle followed. Her attacker head butted her. She also sustained injuries to her hands from the knife.

During the attack the victim's phone was stolen, and is still missing. It is an HTC model, with a purple case with the writing 'Keep Calm and Stay Reem'.

CCTV from the garage captures the man getting into the victim’s car. The attacker is described as a white man with olive complexion, 5'10 to 6'00 tall and of a slim to medium build. He was wearing a dark hooded jacket and trousers with two different fluorescent markings on them.

Before getting into the victim's car, the CCTV footage also shows the offender trying to get into another car, a lone female driver, but the driver managed to lock the passenger door just in time.

Police are urging anyone who might have information which could help the police to come forward before this dangerous man strikes again.

Appeal points

  • The offender was about 6ft, of slim to medium build and spoke with a foreign accent which may have been Italian. He had olive skin and possibly short stubble on his face. The offender was wearing a dark hooded jacket and dark trousers which had fluorescent marks on the outside of each leg, which are different on either side. Do you recognise this man or the distinctive trousers?

  • The victim's phone is still missing. It is an HTC model with a purple phone case with the writing 'Keep Calm and Stay Reem'. The knife is also still missing. The blade is about 5 inches long with a smooth edge and was bent during the attack. Has anyone seen these items dumped anywhere or knows someone who was in possession of them?

  • The offender left an unopened condom in the passenger seat footwell. It is made by a company called Startex and was only sold in Belgium from December 2012. The police are urging anyone who knows someone who had this brand to contact them.

  • The attack took place on a busy bus route – the number 38 along Tomlinson Avenue. If you were on a number 38 bus in the area during the time of the attack, did you see anything?

  • Police are urging a potential witness captured by cameras walking on Tomlinson Avenue and then Beadlow Road at around the time the offender would have been getting out the car to come forward as they could have vital information which could help them.

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