BY RATTAN MALL
Mayor Dianne Watts
DEAR Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts,
Something is rotten in the state of Surrey (with apologies to William Shakespeare)!
The city is supposed to be the fastest growing city, but does that also refer to the body count, as the Globe and Mail newspaper noted?
Now let’s see your reaction and that of the RCMP to the latest two – yes, ma’am, that’s TWO again! – murders.
But first, the killings that have taken place just this happy new year – and please note we are not talking about just shootings, news of which your precious police force never gives out to the media on their own so that we really do not know how many have taken place just this year.
But here is the body count (that they can’t hide) so far:
* January 13: Manjot Dhillon, 27, of Surrey, associated with the Dhak gang, was fatally shot in the area of 168 Street and 76 Avenue.
* That same night John Edward McGiveron, 33, and Geordie Wesley Carlow, 33, both of Surrey, who were known to police, were shot dead in a parkade in the 9400 block of 128 Street, but their murders are not believed to be gang-related.
* On January 15, Manjinder “Manny” Hairan, 29, associated to the Dhak gang, was shot dead in the area of 127 and 112B Avenue.
* On January 28, the body of Jaskaran Singh Sandhu, 26, was found in a grassy area on the side of the road in the 12300-block of Colebrook Road in South Surrey, a rural area north of Highway 99 on the Surrey / Delta border. He was known to police.
* On February 24, the badly burned body of Amritpal Saran, 29, of Delta was found in the 12100-block of Colebrook Road in Surrey. Police said he was known to them but had no known gang association.
Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy
That was SIX.
Now we have TWO MORE.
At about 2 a.m. on March 13 (Wednesday), your police force (as you are so vehemently opposed to a regional police force!) – the Surrey RCMP – were supposedly conducting “proactive patrols” in the area of Colebrook Road and 125A Street – the SAME AREA where bodies were found on January 28 and February 24 – when an officer located the body of an unresponsive male on the side of the road.
Additional officers were called to the scene including the Police Dog Service (PDS) and a second body, a deceased female, was located by the PDS a short distance away from the dead male.
Police said both victims appeared to have met with foul play and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) was called in to lead the investigation.
On Thursday, IHIT announced that the victims were:
* Brett Sheldon Lietz, 54, who does not possess a criminal record.
* Nicole Madelynn Brochu, 40, who possesses a criminal record from 1989 to 2003.
IHIT Sgt. Jennifer Pound said they are still looking for a motive. It appears the cause of death was gunshot wounds.
She added that IHIT is also looking into the possibility that these two recent victims were not just dumped on Colebrook. It is likely that this shooting occurred on Colebrook Road where the bodies were located. The victims were roommates.
Pound said: “It’s very early to say conclusively that all of the four victims found at this location are unrelated to each other, however, the flow of evidence to date supports the theory that they are not connected and only one of the victims had gang connections.”
Your reaction, Ms. Watts on Wednesday was that you are “VERY CONCERNED.”
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said: “What is going on there [Colebrook Road area] is not a secret.”
Then what has the RCMP been doing about it?
Failure of intelligence?
You know that your police chief, Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy’s reaction to four murders in Surrey in January was that “SURREY IS SAFE” because only the bad guys were getting killed.
Of course, I and others had to remind you guys that INNOCENT people have also been killed.
As we grow older, Ms. Watts, we tend to forget things.
Chris Mohan’s tombstone (All photos by Chandra Bodalia)
But let me remind you of the notorious SURREY SIX case in which two innocent lives were lost in October 2007: Chris Mohan, 22, of Surrey and Edward J. Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford. The other four victims led criminal lifestyles.
There are things that I am VERY CONCERNED about, Ms. Watts.
Why is your police force hiding crime news from the media? I asked them about it but got no reply. (See Asian Journal of December 14, 2012: “Why Can’t Surrey RCMP Be As Transparent As Delta Police About Crime Incidents?”)
Have you instructed the cops not to give out info to the public to keep up this good city image?
If not, why aren’t we getting a daily report on crime incidents? Are you trying to tell us that nothing bad happens in all of Surrey (nothing, but the killings where you can’t hide the bodies)?
I know the RCMP has this culture of controlling and suppressing news, but Ms. Watts, you and your police force can learn a lot from the way the municipal police forces of Delta, Vancouver and Abbotsford report crime incidents daily to the media.
What are you guys afraid of?
BY RATTAN MALL