Two Swan Hills residents experienced similar unsettling encounters on Friday when they arrived at their respective homes to find an uninvited individual in their houses. Both events involved the same individual wandering into these people’s homes. 

In the first incident, the intruder had first entered the house before wandering into the garage, which is where they were discovered by the homeowner on Friday morning. The second incident occurred in the afternoon of the same day. Nothing had been taken from either home, and the individual did not behave aggressively in either incident.

The Grizzly Gazette spoke with Cst. Declan Treichel to learn more about these occurrences. 

The person who wandered into these people’s homes is a female in her late 20s who is known to the Swan Hills RCMP Detachment with previous drug-related involvement. This individual appeared to have been in a drug-related psychosis and wandered into these homes looking for someone. She stated that she was looking for her daughter in the second incident. 

Both homeowners knew who the individual was. Neither homeowner pressed charges against the woman as they recognized she wasn’t attempting to steal from or harm anyone; she was confused. 

When asked about what a person should do if they were to find a stranger in their home, Cst. Treichel said they should call 911 so the RCMP can deal with the situation. He cautioned against being confrontational and trying to scare or force the individual out of the house, as this could quickly escalate the situation. If the intruder is acting aggressively, trying to remove yourself from the situation is best. 

While some people might want to defend their home and fight the intruder, caution is warranted. The relevant laws essentially allow the homeowner in this situation to defend themselves if they are being attacked, insofar as to prevent themselves from being injured… but these laws do not allow the homeowner to beat up an intruder to “teach them a lesson.” Becoming physically violent with another person in such a manner, even if they are intruding into your home, could very well lead to the homeowner being charged with assault. 

If the intruder is known to the homeowner and is being non-confrontational, Cst. Teicheld explains that the homeowner could also attempt to convince the person to stay until the RCMP arrives. 

Cst. Treichel recommends ensuring that your doors are locked when leaving your home. He also suggests, “If you’re leaving for a certain duration of time, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house and property.”

By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 09, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Grizzly Gazette   Swan Hills, Alberta

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