‘Who steals from sleeping children?’

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A Derry family awoke on Sunday morning to find thieves had burgled their children’s bedrooms, as they slept.

The incident occurred as the couple, who have asked not to be named, and their youngest child, just six days old, slept in the living room. The thieves entered their Aileach Park home via a back door. In addition to raiding the bedrooms as the children slept, they also crept past the mother, father and newborn baby to steal the older child’s birthday money. An X-box 360, flat screen TV, house keys and the family car, a Vauxhall Vectra, were taken.

“Who would steal from sleeping children?” the angry local father said. “Who sneaks into a child’s bedroom as they sleep? They must have been armed to have been so brazen. We only realised when we noticed the car was missing the next morning.” The family, spoke out to warn of the dangers of leaving doors unlocked.

“We had just given the baby her feed and she was asleep in the cot. Whoever stole our stuff came right past us and the baby, lifted the older child’s purse with her birthday money and made off.”

The family searched Derry for their car the next day. “It was in Bracken Park covered in mud and there was a CD in it which isn’t mine. I think they stole the car and used it in another burglary. The whole thing is maddening, the children are scared and I keep wondering what would have happened had we awoke? The ‘what ifs’ don’t bear thinking about.” According to the father, problems have been developing in the area for some time. “The street lights were turned off a while ago. Since then the darkness gives burglars added protection.”

The residents say the problems arise due to a dispute between Council and Road Service over who is responsible for street lighting.”

A Road Service spokesperson stated: “Aileach View is an unadopted road, therefore not the responsibility of Roads Service.”

A Council spokesperson confirmed: “We recognise the concerns of home owners specifically in new housing developments where services may not be completed. The Council is aware that DRD Roads Services is responsible for implementing the procedures and legislation in regards to street lighting.” Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact CID on 0845 600 8000.