Landlord stuck with bill after Kamloops RCMP damage home in raid - InfoNews

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Landlord stuck with bill after Kamloops RCMP damage home in raid

James Thomsen is suing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after they forcefully entered his rental property and caused more than $20,000 worth of damages and loss of income.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ James Thomsen
February 25, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops landlord is dealing with a high-priced list of repairs to his rental property after police executed a search warrant where they broke three windows, broke down a door and damaged a kitchen wall, according to a notice of claim.

James and Louise Thomsen are suing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after Kamloops Mounties damaged their rental property looking for two men, possibly armed, with a connection to their rental house. Police said last summer they suspected the property was a drug house.

It all started on June 21, 2018, when the RCMP’s crime reduction unit conducted a traffic stop which led to the arrest of two men and the seizure of drugs and firearms.

Court documents show Blake Leonard Bernhard, born 1985, was charged with multiple firearm charges in connection to the incident. Bernhard was also arrested in Feb. 2017 in connection to a North Shore Shooting where a man was found with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Police say the arrest of the two men from the traffic stop led them to Thomsen’s rental property on Linden Avenue where police believed the suspects originated from. With assistance from the Emergency Response Team, police entered the home with force, according to an RCMP media release.

"When we pursue suspects who are known to be armed, specialized support is regularly used to ensure we give ourselves the highest possibility of a peaceful outcome," Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay said in a previous release.

Thomsen says he got a phone call early the next day from RCMP.

“I was kind of in shock,” he says. “I was sleeping and they contacted me just after 5 O'clock in the morning and suggested I come board up my house that they destroyed.”

According to the notice of claim, the cost of damages plus the loss of income revenue total just over $20,000.

“It’s been a huge financial loss for us,” he says.

Thomsen says the house is still boarded up. The search warrant led to the arrests of two women and quantities of drugs were seized on scene.

Jennifer Lindsay Manuel faces several charges including possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking in connection to the incident.

Police said this residence had been identified as a suspect location for drug trafficking activities and had been under investigation.

Thomsen says he was told by police there were guns in his rental property but if true, he says he was not aware of that. But police did not say following the arrests if firearms were found at Thomsen's property after they entered the house.

“That’s all I know, they didn’t tell me nothing, they didn’t even give me a copy of the warrant,” he says.

Thomsen says he believes the police were looking for a male suspect that never lived there. He believes one of his tenants may have dated the individual police were looking for but never resided there. In other words, he believes police targeted the wrong house.

“I have never met this person I have no idea who he is,” he says. "They never clarified anything with me prior to going in."

Thomsen says they are still waiting to hear back from the RCMP.

"We got a letter back from them at the end of October (2018) stating they were within their rights and it's my responsibility to pay for it," he says.

Kamloops RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says she could not speak on the details of the incident since it is before the courts.

Landlord James Thomsen says he has suffered a huge financial loss after police damaged his rental property on June 22, 2018.
Landlord James Thomsen says he has suffered a huge financial loss after police damaged his rental property on June 22, 2018.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ James Thomsen

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