Mounties in Campbell River are warning of the dangers of vigilante justice after a group of men reportedly took back items that were stolen from them — with force.
Officers were called to a home in the 100-block of Thulin Street on March 3. When they arrived, they saw four men leaving the home with items they said belonged to them. Inside the home, they found the 40-year-old man living there was badly beaten in non-life threatening condition, and he was taken to hospital.
Investigators say they believe the group of men went to the home after hearing the 40 year old was in posession of items stolen from them in a series of break-and-enters. The men were all arrested.
“It’s easy to understand the level of anger that gets created when one’s home is violated,” said Campbell River RCMP spokesman Const. Maury Tyre, in a statement.
“However, we urge members of the public not to take matters into their own hands. The end result can see the victim turning into an accused very quickly and violent crimes are typically viewed as more serious than property crimes.”
Police say they’ve seen situations turn ugly for those enacting vigilante justice as well, and instead urged those seeking justice to share detailed information on crimes so police can deal with it.
In this case, RCMP later executed a warrant at the home and recovered thousands of dollars in belongings, returning them to their owners.
The four men arrested have since been released on conditions and will appear in court at a later date.
Tyre urges anyone who wants to report criminal activity to call police at 250-286-6221, or call 911 in an emergency.