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Prominent Vancouver Island family collateral victims of Victoria bank robbery

Auchterlonie family issues statement regarding online harassment
Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie and his family have been inundated with enquiries and online harassment since it was revealed they share the same surname as the suspects in the botched June 28 Victoria bank robbery. File photo

When RCMP officers in Saanich released the identity of the two suspects in the botched Victoria robbery Saturday, a Comox Valley family’s life was turned upside down.

Siblings Susan and Bob Auchterlonie were shocked to discover they shared the surname of the two deceased bank robbers. But that is all they share.

ALSO: Saanich bank shootout suspects confirmed as 22-year-old brothers from Duncan

The ensuing 48 hours have been so challenging for the Comox Valley Auchterlonies, they have issued the following statement to Black Press:

This past Saturday police identified the two deceased suspects in the recent bank robbery in Victoria. The two individuals are NOT related to the Auchterlonie family from Cumberland. We have never met them, and we have no connection to them beyond sharing a unique last name.

While this tragic event never was about us, it quickly spiralled, and our weekend was spent responding to media enquiries and attempting to respond to negative comments about us on social media. Because Bob holds a senior position in the Canadian Armed Forces, he became a target. The hurtful, harmful comments posted anonymously by strangers looking to come up with conspiracy theories about our family were despicable.

As noted this tragic event was never about us. It is instead about those impacted – the officers involved, the bank staff, the bank customers and all their families and loved ones, and yes, also the two young suspects and their loved ones. Our thoughts are with all of them.

This weekend also offered a reminder to those of us who post on social media to get the facts first and to resist engaging in speculation.

While our weekend was challenging, we know there are several families who have had a much more difficult weekend than we did, and we ask that you think of them.

Thank you to our friends for their support.

Susan Auchterlonie,

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie,

and our families

ALSO: More than $140,000 raised for officers affected by Saanich bank shooting

Terry Farrell

About the Author: Terry Farrell

Terry returned to Black Press in 2014, after seven years at a daily publication in Alberta. He brings 24 years of editorial experience to Comox Valley Record...
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