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DES MOINES (WHO) — Members of a Des Moines family say they were terrorized in their own home by Ankeny police.
Sally Prince is afraid to stay in her own home. “I’ve been so traumatized. I don’t sleep at night,” Prince says.
On Thursday, Ankeny police executed a search warrant looking for someone they suspected of using stolen credit cards to buy clothes and electronics.
The whole search was caught on surveillance video.
Ankeny police tell us they knocked first, but the video shows one officer pounding on the side of the house and seconds later, officers use a battering ram to force their way in.
The video also shows an officer destroying a security camera outside the home.
Two people in the house were arrested on unrelated charges, and the family says none of the items listed on the warrant were found.
Prince’s son, Justin Ross, was in the bathroom when police burst in, and he was carrying a gun that he has the legal right to carry. “I stood up, I drew my weapon, I started to get myself together to get out the door, I heard someone in the main room say police. I re-holstered my weapon sat back down and put my hands in my lap,” Ross recalls.
“This is over property purchased with a stolen credit card,” Prince adds. “It doesn’t make any sense to go to such extremes for something that simple.”
Two of the people there had no criminal history. Justin Ross was honorably discharged from the Army recently. The third person does have an arrest record, but the most serious charge was theft and that charge was dismissed.
The family says they would have answered the door if police had just knocked.
Ankeny police executed the warrant in Des Moines because the alleged theft took place in Ankeny, but the suspects live in Des Moines.
Ankeny police say they do not have a written policy governing how search warrants are executed. They’re not commenting further because it’s an ongoing investigation.
By Aaron Brilbeck