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Police fire tear gas, use loud speakers in raid on Port Coquitlam home

Police officers with dogs, search lights and a loud speaker surround a home near PoCo Place Mall early Sunday, demanding tenants leave the premises.
Police raid 3300-block Raleigh St.
Coquitlam RCMP have confirmed they raided a house in the 3300-block of Raleigh Street in Port Coquitlam early Sunday.

Several Port Coquitlam residents were startled awake in the early hours of Sunday (Feb. 20) by loud bangs, sirens and the presence of a large number of Mounties converging on an older single-family home.

Coquitlam RCMP confirmed to the Tri-City News officers attended the home in the 3300-block of Raleigh Street, just off Lougheed Highway near a Husky gas station, between midnight and 4 a.m.

The home is just a few blocks away from PoCo Place Mall and not far from a new transit-oriented development on Westwood Street.

However, police would provide no further information due to the ongoing investigation.

Some neighbours, however, were more forthcoming because the noise and disturbance woke them up.

Cindy Miller, a grandmother who lives near the rental property, said police surrounded the building and used tear gas to encourage those inside the home to give themselves up to police.

Miller said a SWAT team as well as a dog team were at the home, and a police officer asked if he could pass through her yard to get to the back of the home.

There was at least another officer with a search light on a roof or garage out back and someone demanded residents to "come out with their hands up," using a loud speaker.

Shortly after, she heard the sound of bangs, and then smelled tear gas inside her home.

"They didn’t let us know, they didn't tell us to stay in the house, all the tear gas came in our window," Miller said.

"Our dogs were going crazy; my granddaughter is a teenager, she has extreme anxiety because of this," said Miller, who said the police enforcement activity lasted for roughly four hours.

Despite the efforts, just one person appeared to leave the home but Coquitlam RCMP say no one was arrested.

There was a police officer at the site through the morning, Miller said, and the house was boarded up, while other members appeared to be sifting through evidence.

However, Miller believes the home may be used as a "drug house" and said her daughter has expressed concerns to the landlord.

"This is a good neighbourhood," she said, "There are lots of nice families."

The house is currently up for sale for $1.9 million, according to the real estate website, as a possible land assembly for townhouses.