Neighbours on edge after home invasion in Garden City leaves man, 70, with life-altering injuries

A pair of random home invasions in Garden City including one that left a 70-year-old with life-altering injuries has shaken a normally quiet neighbourhood.

The two incidents happened early last week on Woodcrest Drive at two separate homes.

While a man has since been arrested and charged, concern among neighbours has prompted Winnipeg police to increase patrols in the area.

“In this area I’ve never had a concern. Never at all,” said Mark Humphries, who’s lived on the street for 12 years. “But obviously, now I would be a little bit more cautious.”

Winnipeg police said officers were called to a home on Woodcrest Drive around 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 22 because of a robbery.

Police said they arrived within minutes and found a 70-year-old man suffering from serious upper-body injuries.

Police say its north district community support and foot patrol units have upped patrol of the area where two random robberies occured to give support to community members who may be shaken by the events.

Investigators said the man was assaulted with a weapon after a suspect knocked on his door and forced his way into the man’s home. Officers said the man’s 64-year-old spouse managed to get away and that’s when police were called.

“This is quite a heinous crime,” said Const. Claude Chancy. “It’s nothing that we would normally see. It’s something that’s completely random and it’s in somebody’s own home.”

Chancy said officers arrested a man in the home who has since been formally charged with multiple offences. The 70-year-old victim was taken to hospital in unstable condition where he remains with what police describe as life-altering injuries.

“Not only was there an offence committed at this residence but there was also an offence committed the night prior on the same block of Woodcrest Drive,” Chancy said. “Both the incidents were random in nature.”

A woman who identified herself to CTV News Winnipeg as the victim of the first incident declined to comment but police said a suspect broke into a home around 8 p.m. Sunday after scaring away a 64-year-old resident from her property.

Investigators said the suspect broke into her home, stole personal property including keys to a vehicle and drove away in the stolen automobile before police arrived.

Officers allege the same suspect is behind both break-ins, incidents which have robbed some people of their sense of safety.

“I cannot leave my door unlocked. I have to lock it,” said Natividad Nieto, who lives in the area. “That way I have a chance to call the police in a case like happened with my neighbours.”

It has many people concerned about violence not only here but across the city.

“It’s everywhere now,” said Jose Nieto, Natividad’s cousin who was visiting from St. James. “It’s very unsafe.”

Clarence Harvey Murdock, 34 of Winnipeg, has been charged with break and enter, aggravated assault and theft over $5,000. He’s also been charged with two counts of forcible confinement, possession of a weapon and failing to comply with a probation order.

Police said the forcible confinement charges were laid because the victims in Monday’s home invasion weren’t allowed to leave after the suspect forced his way into their home.

Murdock remains in custody.

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