A Campbell River woman says she’s lost sleep and can’t do yard work outside her home after an attempted home invasion involving three armed, masked suspects.
“I’m really anxious. There were cars driving by, and I was like, ‘Are people looking at me?'” Janet Mitchell told CHEK News, recalling the terrifying incident that happened around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, on Masters Road.
Mitchell says she was “sound asleep” before hearing loud bangs.
“I heard the banging, and I was like, ‘What is that?’ I got up and opened my bedroom door. It was so loud I thought it might be in the house,” she said.
“I thought my brother may have fallen, and he was trying to get my attention. So I called out to him. It was really loud, and I was scared. But he opened his door and was like, ‘What?’ I said, ‘What’s the banging? If it’s not you, what’s the banging?'”
Then she heard a crunching sound coming from her gravel driveway.
“I ran back into my room and saw three of them leaving my driveway. The whole thing lasted 45, 60 seconds,” said Mitchell in an interview.
The trio was caught on home security camera, and Mitchell posted the footage to Facebook. It shows two males attempting to kick in her metal door as a female stands to the side. They were all wearing medical face masks.
“It’s over 600 shares now,” said Mitchell, thanking her Facebook friends for their support.
“I personally have gotten at least a dozen leads. Every single person that contacted me already contacted the police, but they wanted to reach out to me as well.”
“I don’t even have a garden gnome”
Mitchell says she’s overwhelmed by what happened and still can’t understand why they targeted her home, which is located off Evergreen Road.
“This is not a presumptuous area where there are fancy things out front,” she said. “I don’t even have a garden gnome. There is nothing to attract anyone to my house, and there is nothing in my house. There are no drugs in my house.
“I’ve got nothing, sorry.”
But that didn’t stop the suspects from wreaking havoc.
Mitchell says the metal door, as well as the lock and handle and doggie door, had to be replaced, costing around $2,000. She also installed more cameras outside.
“They cracked through the frame at one part, and it’s a millimetre of cracking through at the other part,” she said, dwelling on what could have been. “One more kick, I don’t know if that would have been enough to make the deadbolt go.”
Now she’s thankful she and her brother are safe. Because, according to Mitchell, it appears one of the males was holding a gun.
“It took me a few hours for someone to point out to me that that was not a crowbar, it was a gun. It was a gun. I thought it was a crowbar,” she said, getting emotional.
“Even when I saw the videos at first, I just assumed it was a crowbar. It wasn’t until somebody slowed that video down that I realized how close that (the gun) had been.”
In a news release Friday, the Campbell River RCMP did not say if a gun was involved in the incident, but they did confirm they were searching for three people.
The first is a Caucasian male, approximately 20-35 years old, with a medium build, black or dark brown hair, extended sideburns and scruffy facial hair. The second is a female, approximately 18-28 years old, with a slender to athletic build. She might have purple or red highlights in her hair. And the third is a Caucasian male with a medium to athletic build.
Mounties released photos of the suspects, and now Mitchell’s hoping police will find them.
“They’re still out there,” she added.
“I’m overwhelmed with what’s happened… This is crazy. It’s pretty scary.”
The RCMP say the investigation into the attempted home invasion is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Campbell River RCMP at 250-286-6221, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or online.