Police in Campbell River are investigating an episode of “vigilante justice” that sent one man to hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

On March 3rd, police were called to the 100 block of Thulin Street. When they arrived, they found four men fleeing the home with belongings they claimed were theirs. Officers then found the resident inside badly beaten.

“The four men were arrested for Assault Causing Bodily Harm and were taken to Campbell River RCMP cells while the 40-year-old resident was transported to hospital for treatment of his injuries,” reads a statement.

Police believe the group went to the home after receiving a tip that the man was in possession of belongings that had been stolen from them during break and enters.

“It’s easy to understand the level of anger that gets created when one’s home is violated. However, we urge members of the public not to take matters into their own hands,” says Cst. Maury Tyre. “The end result can see the victim turning into an accused very quickly and violent crimes are typically viewed as more serious than property crimes.”

And, in other situations, Tyre says they’ve seen the person who takes the matter into their own hands suffer serious injuries as well.

“What we need is witnesses who are willing to share information fully on crimes with the police so that police can deal with it expediently in a legal fashion,” says Tyre.

Police were later able to execute a warrant at the home and recover thousands of dollars of goods from several different break-ins. They’ve since returned the items to their owners.

Tyre adds that the four men were released on conditions for a later court date.