Vigilance urged as gang target Derry shops in distraction burglary attempts

Shop owners in Derry have been warned to be on their guard after a gang attempted to steal cash from a number of premises at the weekend.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 9:55 am

The PSNI said it received reports of attempted larceny at two shops at opposite ends of the cityside on Saturday.

But the ‘Journal’ understands other premises were targeted by the same gang on the same day. No arrests had been made as the PSNI continued to investigate on Monday.

Police believe one group of criminals was behind the attempted execution of distraction burglaries.

“Two small local convenience stores were targeted in the city today [Saturday] by a group of six Eastern Europeans,” the PSNI said.

“The five females and one male distracted the shop keeper whilst trying to break in to the staff areas and the till area,” said the PSNI.

The incidents occurred at the Letterkenny Road and on the Racecourse Road between 2 p.m. and 4.30 p.m.

“One happened in the Brandywell area and the other in the Shantallow area,” the PSNI said.

The police force said no arrests have yet been made and requested help from the public in their efforts to trace the criminals.

“We are also hoping to identify the vehicle/s they may have used. If you have any information call us on 101 and quote 1604 of 18/01/20,” said the PSNI.

Police also warned that the gang “may also target other stores in the wider area”.

This appears to have been the case as several people have reported similar incidents in the Waterside area of the city. The group are believed to have also targeted retail businesses in Prehen and on the Glendermott Road.