Vigilance urged following spate of burglaries targeting older people

The house of a Magheramason woman was ransacked as she sat outside this afternoon in one incident in a spate of burglaries police believe were linked.

Monday, 13th May 2019, 6:51 pm

Detectives at Strand Road said they were investigating a number of burglaries at the homes of older people on Monday, May 13. Detective Sergeant Richard Donnell said: "We received a report shortly after 12.10 p.m. that two men arrived at a house in the Woodside Road area of Killeter, at least one of whom was reported to have been armed with a screwdriver.

"One of the suspects spoke with the male outside the house while the other suspect is believed to have entered the property. It was reported the two males subsequently re-entered the property before making off with the man's wallet which contained a small quantity of cash. "The suspects, both described as having dark hair and having worn dark-coloured clothing, are reported to have fled in a black vehicle, possibly a BMW with an English registration."Thankfully, the victim was not injured, however, he was left shaken."

A few hours later two further burglaries were reported in Magheramason and Strabane.

A property on Victoria Road in Magheramason was ransacked and money taken as the female resident sat outside, meanwhile the occupant of a house on Woodend Road in Strabane returned home to find her property had been entered and jewellery stolen.

DS Donnell said: "We believe these burglaries are linked and may also be linked to other crimes in recent days, including an incident in the Fyfin Road area of Victoria Bridge where a wallet was stolen at knife point at around 1.10 p.m. The suspects fled in a dark-coloured car.

"I want to appeal to anyone who knows anything about any of these incidents, or who saw a black coloured car - possible a BMW with an English registration - in these areas acting suspiciously, to contact detectives at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 521 of 13/05/19."Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

“We encourage everyone to report suspicious activity to us. No matter how insignificant it may seem, the report of a suspicious vehicle or people acting strangely in your neighbourhood can help us to prevent and detect crime. “We would like all of you to help us spread the message. Domestic burglary has been and will remain a priority for us. "If you would like further advice on home security you can contact your local Crime Prevention Officer on 101.”