Eighteen people were arrested at a South Surrey home Thursday night, in a raid police say was part of an ongoing investigation into drug-related activity.
Neighbours told Peace Arch News that officers surrounded the two-storey house, in the 15400-block of 22 Avenue, around 9 p.m., arriving in an armoured vehicle and breaking down the door.
“We were walking up the street and all of a sudden the big police truck… came down and police cars behind it,” said one woman who has lived in the area for more than 30 years. “You could hear them going in, there was a big bang.
“As soon as we saw them coming down the street, we got into the house.”
Neighbours noticed problems associated with the house after new tenants moved in Aug. 1, she said.
“There’s been lots of traffic… people we don’t know.”
According to police, the house has been on their radar “of late,” and those arrested Thursday are well-known to them. In addition to the arrests, police seized a small quantity of drugs from the house, along with identification documents that were confirmed stolen.
A Surrey RCMP spokesman said a number of specialized police units were involved in the operation, and it is hoped the arrests will reduce criminal activity in the neighbourhood, which is also home to Jessie Lee Elementary.
Another area resident said police have been driving by “two or three times a day,” and told her “there’s a house under investigation.”
“It’s a house that has a whole bunch of people coming and going,” said Lynda Molter, describing everything from teenagers to biker-types.
Molter said she was on her way home when she came across the police operation Thursday night. They would not allow her to go down 22 Avenue, she said.
While neighbours say people have returned to the house in question, they are satisfied with the police response and optimistic a return to the peace they are used to is imminent.
“(Police) were pretty good at letting us know they were trying to deal with it,” one woman said.
“A month of having this happen, no one was getting sleep. It’s pretty hard on a neighbourhood. Hopefully, (those involved) will know that they’re not wanted here.”
The raid occurred just a few days after – and only four blocks away from – another significant incident.
Sunday, police descended on a home in the 2600-block of King George Boulevard, after area residents reported a brawl outside of a two-storey house.
King George was closed to traffic for several hours while police dealt with the incident, which ended with several people being taken into custody and two taken to hospital.