Nanaimo RCMP are searching for a suspect after a woman in her late 70s fought off a masked man who attempted to rob her in her home.

The woman told police she stepped outside Monday evening at around 8 p.m. to close a gate. When she returned, she was confronted by a man wearing a balaclava who demanded her purse and wallet.

The suspect pushed her into the nearest bedroom and demanded her purse. She refused to hand it over and pushed back. After more pushing and yelling she ran to her neighbours and called 911.

The suspect left empty-handed.

“The senior had some bumps and bruises but over all was no worse for wear given what she had been through. She also refused to leave her home which she has lived in for the past 50 years”, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Police, including a police dog, were on scene within four minutes but were unable to locate the suspect. They said this is the second incident at the Winchester Avnuee home in the past week.

On Saturday, January 6th the homeowner called the police to report her jewellery box had been moved from her bedside table and found in the other room. The box had been emptied of its contents, and missing are three rings, including her wedding rings, some cash and her debit card. No suspects have been identified in this incident.

The suspect in the second incident is described as five feet five inches tall with a slim build, wearing dark clothing and a dark balaclava.

Anyone with information on either of the two crimes is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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