She's terminally ill, was assaulted in a home invasion, had all her possessions stolen — and it's taken its toll | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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She's terminally ill, was assaulted in a home invasion, had all her possessions stolen — and it's taken its toll

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SICAMOUS - She was home alone when they arrived.

It was six a.m. one day last October. Her husband had just left for work. She was going through sentimental jewellery and family heirlooms to give to her daughters and granddaughters once she passed away.

Her name is Bobbie, she's 60 years old, she's a long-time resident of Sicamous and she is dying of cancer. If she knows how long she has, she won't say.

“I am sick. I am just biding my time."

She prefers to not share any other details about herself.

She heard a diesel truck pull up to her house and thought it was her husband returning from work. When she walked outside, she saw a white truck backing up to her front deck.

“I said ‘Hello? Hello?’” She thought it was one of her husband’s employees who had forgotten something.

Three people dressed in long dark coats and wearing bandanas covering their faces climbed out of the truck and rushed into her home. One of the men threw her to the ground and put a gun to the side of her head.

“He kept asking me where the money was and that my old man owed his boss money,” Bobbie says. “He kicked me in the head which threw me across the whole front entrance.”

We know already that one of the men would accidentally expose his face to a camera. Robert Bomba was tried, convicted and sentenced for the crime while the other two remain at large.

That's just one of the reasons she doesn't want her full identity revealed. But she felt she needed to fill in some of the holes of this story not told in court. 

She told them there was no money in the house and said her husband would be home soon from work. This only made them angry, Bobbie says.

The unidentified man dragged Bobbie to a chair. From a bag, he pulled out zip ties, tightened them around her wrists and placed an orange bandana around her mouth.

While she was tied up in the chair, the unidentified man put his forehead against hers.

“He said 'look into my eyes, I’m going to kill you,’” Bobbie says.

In another room, the woman among them found the jewellery Bobbie had been putting away in bins.

“As soon as she found the jewellery, (the unidentified man) says to me ‘You’re fucking lying to me’ and hit me with the handle of his gun,” Bobbie says.

She still has a dent on the side of her face.

“I said I wasn’t lying, it’s goddamn jewellery,” she says.

He threatened to cut off her fingers when she couldn’t get the rings off she was wearing.

As the three of them trashed and stole from her house. The masked woman said she heard something outside. Bobbie saw them panic and noticed they were distracted from watching her.

She realized something right away: It was her only chance to escape.

“I just thought ‘lord willing, these old legs — pain or not, we are gone’ and I ran out of the house, jumped over the truck because it was backed up to my deck and started screaming,” Bobbie says.

She ran to the neighbours and pounded on the door where she called the police.

Bobbie recalls waiting for almost an hour for RCMP to arrive. Her assailants remained inside her home as she waited before making off with roughly $40,000 worth of jewellery and irreplaceable family heirlooms, computers, a tablet, and hard drives.

READ MORE: Man involved in violent Shuswap home invasion sentenced to four years

Bomba, 38, was sentenced to four years in prison. He pleaded guilty to two charges despite being charged with seven offences. Bomba apologized in court saying he was remorseful of his actions. Court heard Bomba and his two accomplices were at the wrong address the day they broke into Bobbie’s home located on a quiet residential street in Sicamous, populated by mainly older couples.

Bobbie suffered a broken nose among many other injuries from the attack. But aside from her physical injuries, Bobbie says she is still trying to recover from the violent assault that changed her life. 

“As well as being a victim of a home invasion, I felt like I was a victim of the law system, police and insurance,” she says, nearly a year later.

After the home invasion, Bobbie moved in with family in the Lower Mainland. She's since moved back into the same house in Sicamous but says things are much different now.

She doesn’t go out, all her windows are screwed shut and there are cameras everywhere.

“I am always listening to sounds and I have it so if there is any movement on the front or back deck, it announces it on my phone,” she says. “I can’t rely on the police because a lot can happen to a person in an hour.”

Bobbie says she has been left so traumatized she hesitates to even go in her own backyard.

“I can’t seem to convince myself to go out into my yard. It takes a lot to step out there. I have a beautiful rose garden and I couldn’t even attempt to touch it this year because I couldn’t stay out there long enough,” she says. “If there is a loud noise I jump and I am out of my skin.”

Every night before she goes to bed, she makes sure all cameras are working and does a complete check around the house. 

When she found out Bomba apologized in court for his actions, she says she couldn't care less.

“Bullshit, that’s how I feel on Bomba’s apology. His apology is bullshit, he knew what to say and how to say it,” she says.

Just recently she got her sense of smell back after her nose was fractured. She still suffers from headaches and also suffered a major heart attack after the incident. She says it was related to stress from the trauma.

The home invasion has left her with little trust in the police and the court system. 

“I have no faith in anyone in this world. I feel victimized every time I try to do something — not just by the criminals,” she says.

She's had support from victim services and has been offered therapy and counselling to help with her trauma, but it's not something she is comfortable with. 

Her encounters with insurance to get compensation for the stolen jewellery and the rest of her property has been a nightmare, she explains.

“It’s not ending me being a victim and that fact that he got four years (in prison) makes me so angry," she says. "I don't feel safe. I feel like the law system isn't for the people."

If you think you might be suffering from post-traumtic stress disorder in B.C. go here or call 310-6789 at any time during the day for B.C.'s Mental Health Support line. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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