Home invasion prompts SWAT team deployment

© Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald The house that police surrounded on the 700 block of 12th Street West.

Police surrounded a house on 12th Street West early Friday morning, after four men wearing bandanas, two armed with handguns, burst into another home

Late Thursday night, Esther Roberts was sitting in her West Flat home watching TV, when four men barged through her door. They were wearing bandanas over their faces, and two were brandishing handguns.

“One just mumbled,” she said. “He told my husband ‘don’t phone the cops.’”

They weren’t there to rob Esther and her husband. They were after someone else.

“They just wanted my son Gino,” she said. “And we kept telling them that Gino doesn’t live here.”

The men went downstairs to scour the basement, and after five minutes fled out the back door.

Esther and her husband called the cops, and at 1 a.m. Friday morning, officers responded to the situation. Sgt. Travis Willie, the Prince Albert Police Service’s media liaison, said a K9 unit led the investigation to a house just down the street, on the 700 block of 12th Street West.

That house is registered to West Earth Developments Ltd., a company owned by mayoral candidate Josh Morrow.

A neighbour told the Daily Herald that ten police vehicles surrounded the house. They brought along a SWAT team and K9 units, he recalls, as well as loudspeakers and a “big huge command RV.”

The house’s tenants gave themselves up to police and were taken into custody. But Sgt. Willie said they were never charged in connection with the home invasion, though they did have outstanding warrants.

The four home invasion suspects remain at large. Sgt. Willie said the investigation is ongoing.