Shaken after ordeal

AN ELDERLY man was left badly shaken after four masked men burgled his home.

The man was unhurt, however police said he was ‘badly shaken by his ordeal’ when the men entered his home in Donagh Park, Donaghcloney last Thursday night (March 1).

At around 8.30pm the masked gang got into the elderly gentleman’s home and searched it but left empty-handed.

This latest attack follows a spate of robberies prompting the local PSNI area commander to focus resources on burglaries and break-ins particularly in the Lurgan area,

According to the PSNI there were two burglaries on the Avenue Road and another in Belvedere over the past week.

In the Avenue Road area, between 9am and 10am on Friday, March 2, a man got into two houses making off with cash and jewellery.

He is described as aged 20 with dark hair and wearing dark clothing and a back pack.

Police believe the area may have been busy at the time and are appealing to anyone who noticed anyone matching this description in the area to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

And householders have been told to ‘be sensible’ after an incident in Belvedere manor.

A man entered a house through an unlocked front door. The occupants noticed him in the hallway and he left. Nothing was taken.

Area Commander Chief Inspector Anthony McNally said the force intends to focus resources on both preventing burglary and detecting those involved over the nest few weeks.

He warned that burglaries appear to happen more often on Thursday and Friday

“Burglary is an opportunistic crime and, with the public’s support, we can decrease the opportunities for thieves,” said the Chief Inspector .

“Whilst we will be increasing patrols we would also ask our community to be vigilant - your help is vital. I would ask all residents to report any unusual or suspicious activity in their local area to us immediately.

“You know your own area, you know what is normal, you know what vehicles frequent the area and what looks out of place.

“If you notice something that doesn’t look right, either at your own home or one of your neighbours, phone us straight away. You should also take a note of the registration of any suspicious vehicles.

“We would much rather take time to check something which turns out to be innocent than miss the opportunity to detect or prevent a burglary.”

“Householders can also take steps to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of this type of crime. The most crucial thing is to close and lock doors and windows,” said Chief Inspector McNally.

“Good security may seem daunting however, in reality, it is only a matter of applying a common sense approach to securing your valuables. Think about ways burglars can get what they want, and what you can do to stop that.

“Why not conduct a brief risk assessment of your own home and re-evaluate your crime prevention routine?

“It will take a few minutes and should be well worth the effort if it makes the premises more secure and helps prevent the heartache and distress burglary causes,” said the police chief.

Crime Prevention Officer, Michelle Wilson also urged people to secure their home.

“A large proportion of all burglaries occur at unsecured premises through unlocked doors or windows.

“If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your house. Make sure your doors are strong enough for the job, and fit mortise deadlocks, door chains and viewers and make use of them, when you receive an unexpected knock at the door.

“Never leave keys in the locks, on tabletops or hooks in view of external windows. Never hide spare keys under doormats or flower pots - thieves aren’t stupid - hidden keys make life easy for the burglar.

“Keep your doors and windows locked whether you are at home or not and establish a bedtime routine which involves checking them just before you retire for the night,” she said.