Police converge on rural Alberta home with guns drawn after illegal dumping ‘misunderstanding’

Illegal dumping incident leads to huge police presence at rural Alberta home
An illegal dumping incident saw police descend – guns drawn – on a rural Alberta home. Tomasia DaSilva has more on how this was a misunderstanding.

Two men who allegedly tried to use someone else’s dumpster to dispose of their garbage, found themselves surrounded by a large number of police officers and their guns on Sunday.

Strathmore and Chestermere RCMP were called to a home under construction in the hamlet of Conrich, east of Calgary, after reports that a vehicle was being stolen.

WATCH: Surge of complaints to 311 about illegal dumping in Calgary

When they arrived, two suspects were arrested, believed to have been the thieves. But it turns out, the men weren’t stealing anything — they were dumping stuff.

“It was weird,” neighbour and witness Gaganjot Thind told Global News.

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Thind said it all started when the homeowner confronted two guys he saw using his dumpster outside.

“After about five minutes, several police cars arrived and the whole situation seemed to escalate from that point on,” he said. “With the guns being drawn, the ARs, that sort of thing.”

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Thind says the roadway was blocked off and a police helicopter was seen hovering above as well, which he found very surprising.

“You don’t usually see people who are dumping garbage have that much police force on them.”

Thind caught part of the incident on camera on his cell phone.

Misunderstanding leads to huge police response at rural Alberta home
Misunderstanding leads to huge police response at rural Alberta home

Police told Global News they were responding to reports of a serious crime and had no idea it was just a garbage dump. It was only after arresting the two men and hearing their stories that they chalked it up to a “misunderstanding.”

READ MORE: Calgary neighbours complain about garbage piling up at vacant home in southeast

Thind, who is a home builder with Twenty First Century Homes, said illegal garbage dumps can be a problem in communities under construction, adding he’s had to file complaints.

“We end up paying for it and we also don’t want to be held responsible in terms of illegal activity,” he said.

Police did not charge the men, who investigators say believed they weren’t doing anything wrong.

Global News was unable to reach the owner of the under-construction home for comment on Monday.