In the wake of serious concerns over a man on the Lower Mainland, the head of the local real estate board said her organization takes personal safety seriously and continues to offer on-going education.
“We have always made personal safety top priority,” said Cheryl Woolley, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). She made those comments after the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) issued a public warning about a “suspicious person” who has been contacting female realtors.
The man claims he is interested in listings in Burnaby, Coquitlam, or New Westminster and attempts to set up a showing or tour, insisting the realtor should come alone.
Authorities in the Lower Mainland have described the person as an Asian man in his mid-20s with a medium build and short black hair.
Woolley said she is not aware that VREB has ever issued a similar warning because it has never had reports of comparable behaviour.
This said, the board recommends realtors always meet potential clients in their own offices or public first, Woolley, adding that realtors should contact police if they experience suspicious behaviour.
REBGV’s appeal draws attention to the murder of Lindsay Buziak. The 24-year-old realtor was stabbed to death while showing an unoccupied home in Saanich’s Gordon Head neighbourhood to a well-dressed couple on Feb. 2, 2008. Saanich Police have not made any arrests in the case and continue to investigate her death. Police believe multiple people have first-hand knowledge about Buziak’s murder but are withholding this information.
“As with other pre-planned and targeted murders, the perpetrators and/or conspirators have taken steps to avoid apprehension by police. We believe multiple persons have personal and first-hand knowledge regarding the murder of Lindsay Buziak and have withheld this information from police,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie with Saanich Police in 2018.
Buziak’s father Jeff continues to draw attention to the case through a memorial walk and other ways. Earlier this year, he appeared on the popular TV show Dr. Phil.
Woolley said the board has always had safety programs, but increased their availability after Buziak’s death.
She said safety is very important to the board as well as realtors.