A local councillor has branded those behind a spate of burglaries from Magheramason to Killeter yesterday as 'despicable'.
Sinn Féin councillor Kieran McGuire said those who threatened a man in his late 70s with a screwdriver before ransacking his home and stealing his wallet in one of the incidents in Killeter on Monday were the 'lowest of the low’.
Colr. McGuire said: “The man, almost 80 years old, was returning from the Post Office when he was followed home by two males, one aged around 17. They went to his door and asked him some question about a cat on the road.
"One of them then pushed in past him and ransacked the house while the other held him with a screwdriver and robbed him of his wallet
“They then fled in what is believed a black 1 series BMW with an English registration, which fits the description of the assailants and the car believed to have involved in an incident in Pettigo earlier that morning as well as subsequent robberies at homes on Victoria Road in Magheramason and at Woodend Road in Strabane.
“The thoughts and sympathy of this community are very much with this elderly local man who had to suffer this frightening ordeal and with all those who have fallen victim to this ‘roaming gang’ who can only be described as the lowest of the low."
The Sinn Féin councillor warned that cross-border gangs have been increasingly active in the Council area over recent months and urged people to be vigilant.
“If anyone has any information which can help lead to the apprehension of this or other roaming gangs who are plaguing our local communities on both sides of the border or come across suspicious activity, they should contact the respective authorities immediately.
“Unfortunately, the local communities along this and other border areas are being particularly targeted by these roaming gangs and we all need to maintain heightened vigilance and work together to thwart their activities which are causing so much suffering to their victims and fear throughout the wider community," he said.