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Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

A 50-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sexual assault after he allegedly attacked a woman in what she believed to be a cab.

The 25-year-old woman was leaving Vancouver's Gastown area in the early hours of Oct. 12 when she flagged what she thought was a taxi and got inside.

Police say she was then driven to an area in East Vancouver, where she was severely beaten and sexually assaulted.

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Vancouver police issued a public warning on Oct. 13 and asked for help identifying the suspect and his van.

The department Friday said a witness eventually observed a van similar to the one described by police. The witness spotted a license plate and forwarded it to police, who were able to identify a person of interest and make an arrest.

Stephen Lee Schienbein, of Surrey, was arrested Thursday. He has been charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and assault.

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