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Richmond parents sound alarm after unidentified men spotted in neighbourhood

A house known to police has previously made a nearby school go into hold-and-secure, says East Richmond resident

Richmond parents are sounding the alarm after three “unidentified men,” one of whom was arrested at a house linked to an ongoing investigation, were spotted in their backyard last week.

Harmon Bal, an East Richmond resident, said parents are concerned for their children’s safety, adding that previous incidents in the area have caused a nearby elementary school to go into “lockdown.”

Richmond RCMP said a resident spotted two of the “unidentified men” in their backyard around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the 12000-block of Cambie Road near No. 5 Road.

­­While the two men had left before police arrived, a third was subsequently arrested on an outstanding warrant for another, unrelated matter in the same area, according to Richmond RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Ian Henderson.

The third man was arrested on an outstanding warrant for another unrelated matter at a different, but nearby residence previously linked to a fraud and property crime ring. That residence was raided by Richmond Mounties in December 2020.

“As the investigation is still ongoing, there is not much more I can offer at this time,” said Henderson.

Harmon Bal, whose children attend Mitchell elementary and Cambie secondary and who is vice-president of each of those schools’ PACs, said parents want to raise awareness of what’s happening in their neighbourhood.

“Many parents are worried about the incidents at this house (that was raided) due to the fact that Mitchell elementary is right across the street,” he said.

Bal also told the News that an officer from the Richmond RCMP will be attending the next PAC meeting at Mitchell elementary to speak with the parents.