Home-invasion victims: How are we not co-operative?
Victims of a home invasion in South Surrey last week say police weren’t being truthful when they told media those targeted were involved in the drug trade and aren’t co-operating with the investigation.
“I don’t understand what the heck is going on with the cops telling you guys we’re not co-operating,” said Aaron Semple, 28. “We talked to the police. Everybody in the house gave a full statement to the police.
“How are we not co-operative?”
Semple said he was the only man among two adults and three teenagers in the house June 7 when four armed males broke in at 1:15 p.m. brandishing shotguns and a machete. The intruders forced him to the floor and put a shotgun to his head, then dragged him into another room and kicked him in the face, Semple said.
The attackers caused extensive damage inside the home before fleeing with cash and various belongings, he said.
The day after the incident – which took place at a small white house in the 15200-block of 24 Avenue – police said it was a targeted attack and described the victims as “young people that are known to police to be involved in the drug trade.”
“They’re not co-operating with the police and they are the primary people that we would need to solve this,” a spokesman said.
Semple said Friday that all five victims provided police with their version of events the day of the attack, including descriptions of the assailants and the licence plate of the vehicle they fled in.
While Semple said residents in the house smoke marijuana – including for medicinal reasons – it is not “a drug house,” he said.
“Nobody in this house has ever been arrested for drugs,” he said. “That doesn’t make us involved in the drug trade, just because we smoke it.”
One resident, identifying herself as Semple’s girlfriend, Michelle, she said she has lived at the house with her son and daughter for four years, and was livid to read what was said.
“The police told you bull----,” the 31-year-old told Peace Arch News Friday. “(The landlord) called me telling me they read what was in the news and that they think it would be best for me to move, and that they would work with me to help me move.
“Thanks to you guys, you have just had my children and myself kicked out of my house.”
Michelle said the house was targeted because it was an easy target. “They came in planning to rob a woman and young children.”
Semple and Michelle said officers did not follow up with them in the days since the attack, including not returning messages they’ve left regarding additional information they feel could help the investigation.
Police said Tuesday the incident is still under investigation, and that they stand by their earlier comments.