Campbell River RCMP call for calm amid online support for alleged vigilantes
Four men were arrested and one man was seriously injured in an alleged case of vigilante justice in Campbell River: (Campbell River RCMP)
CAMPBELL RIVER -- After putting out a statement about four men being arrested in an apparent case of vigilantism, a Campbell River RCMP officer is calling for calm and patience n the matter.
The call is coming after many comments were made on social media praising the efforts of the four men who were arrested following a 911 call to the 100-block of Thulin Street on March 3.
Police were called to the home and found four men leaving the home with items they said belonged to them. Police found a badly beaten 40-year-old man inside the residence who was taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The four men were arrested at the scene and charged with assault causing bodily harm but claimed they were only retrieving their personal belongings.
Many of the online comments praised the men for taking matters into their own hands, one person even inquiring if a fundraising campaign had been started to assist with their legal fees.
“There is absolutely a level of frustration that people are experiencing,” says Const. Maury Tyre of Campbell River RCMP.
Tyre says he knows the public wants immediate answers but the legal system takes time.
“A lot of that is based on police work that has to happen, court work that has to happen,” he says. “Society has moved to a very immediate-reaction attitude. I think a lot of that has to do with the internet and people receiving immediate information.”
Tyre says there’s an expectation that police and the courts should also move that fast.
“The reality is, just to write warrants and get into homes, it requires immense amounts of information and immense amounts of police work and unfortunately the public in general isn’t necessarily aware of how much work is required,” he says.
Some of the online comments said that had it not been for the efforts of the foursome, police wouldn’t have acted on the allegedly stolen merchandise.
“In the ensuing investigation we did determine that there was a substantial amount of stolen property inside the residence,” Tyre says. “Campbell River RCMP did write a warrant to that effect and did recover thousands of dollars of stolen items.”
Tyre says police believe those items were obtained from break-ins over the past month in Campbell River, including break-ins at homes close to the suspect address.
What would be helpful, Tyre says, is having more members of the public coming forward with information on crimes.
“We need people who are willing to be witnesses," he says. "What we need is people to become involved and we need the community to become involved to actually prevent this."
Tyre says the investigation is continuing and the person who was found beaten in the home could be facing several counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.