Burnaby RCMP issued a public warning after a woman was sexually assaulted by an apparent stranger in her own home early Thursday morning.

Police say a white male of average height and weight broke into a home in northwest Burnaby, B.C., and sexually assaulted the woman who was inside at the time.

RCMP Sgt. Jolaine Percival said police don't have many details, and aren't even certain how the man gained entry.

"What I can say is she's a victim, a female victim, an adult; and there were other people in the residence at the time that were unaware that [the assault] was taking place," Percival said.


The Burnaby Serious Crimes Unit is investigating after a man broke into a northwest Burnaby home and sexually assaulted a woman inside. (CBC)

The Burnaby serious crimes unit is actively investigating the assault.

Police say there is a definite possibility that the suspect was a stranger to the victim.

"We haven't ruled out the fact that it could be a stranger-on-stranger attack, or that the suspect did know the victim and the location, and the whereabouts of things in the residence," Percival said.

As a precaution, police are warning those who live in the area to be vigilant about personal security.

"The public has to be aware and take every measure to secure their homes, and that means locking doors, securing windows, ensuring that motion activated lights are on and their alarms are set too — you know, to ensure the safety of themselves," Percival said.

Police are also asking anyone with information about this attack to phone the RCMP.

With files from the CBC's Ayesha Bhatty