War veteran (87) endures daylight robbery ordeal

A WORLD War Two veteran has been left ‘shaken’ after his home was ransacked in a broad daylight burglary.

The elderly man, aged 87 and who lives not far from Lurgan Hospital, is said to be shaken after the ordeal.

This is the second burglary in that area within three weeks.

Police said the burglars forced their way into the house while the man was sitting outside.

A PSNI spokesperson said the burglarly happened at around 12.20pm on Monday April 8 at Russell Drive.

Two men forced their way into the back of the house. The house was ransacked however it is believed nothing was taken.

The two men made off on foot along Ardboe Drive and got into a black Mini with two other men inside. The car then drove off in the direction of Mourne Road/Sloan Street.

The first man is described as being about 20 years old, small with short, dirty fair hair. He was wearing jeans and a hoody. The second is described as being approximately 20 years old, approximately 5ft 8in tall with short, dark hair.

The resident had been visited by two callers claiming to be from the Housing Executive in the previous days and this was confirmed as a bogus call.

Mayor of Craigavon, Carla Lockhart has described the robbery as ‘despicable and thoughtless’.

And she has appealed to the general public to “be vigilant and keep a watchful eye on your elderly and vulnerable neighbours”.

Speaking to the Mail, Carla said: “This most recent attack on an elderly gentleman is absolutely despicable, evil act and those responsible should face the full rigours of the law.

“To ransack an elderly World War II veteran’s home in broad day light is a wicked and thoughtless act and undoubtedly has left the victim of this crime shaken.

“This is the second burglary in three weeks both of which would appear to have similar traits. I would appeal to anyone who has seen anything suspicious in the area to report it to the PSNI and would encourage everyone within the area to be vigilant and watch out for their elderly and vulnerable neighbours.

“Craigavon Borough Council Community Policing Partnership did recently produce anti-burglary packs for elderly residents and I would encourage people to contact Council or indeed elected representatives to obtain such.”

PSNI Craigavon Area Commander, Chief Inspector Anthony McNally, said: “I would like to reassure the residents of Hospital Estate that their risk of becoming a victim of crime has decreased by almost seven per cent.

“Figures show that crime in Craigavon has steadily decreased over the last year by almost three times the service average showing that Craigavon is one of the safest places in the province to live.

“That is not to diminish the ordeal that burglary victims have gone through. Burglary is an invasive crime which strikes at the very heart of the community and we have been looking at different strategies to tackle this issue.

“We conduct regular anti-burglary patrols and have been working to educate householders about ways they can protect their home through regular media messages, anti-burglary packs and crime prevention talks at group and community meetings.

“I would urge anyone who has concerns about protecting their home and keeping themselves safe to contact police. We can provide advice and support and help you make contact with other agencies.”

Detectives are appealing to anyone with information about this incident to contact them in Lurgan on 0845 600 8000. If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.