Vigilance urged in wake of weekend burglary spree

Thursday, 24 November 2016

VIGILANCE has been urged this week following a spate of weekend break-ins at homes across Strabane and district.

Detectives have confirmed they are investigating the possibility that the series of burglaries in the Strabane, Sion Mills and Newtownstewart areas between Friday night and the early hours of Sunday morning may have been carried out by the same individual/s.

In the first incident, it was reported that a house in the Melmount area of Strabane was targeted. It is believed the home in Brookvale was entered sometime between 12pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday night. It is not known if anything was stolen as a result of the burglary.

It was also reported that sometime between 6pm on Saturday and 12.30am a house in the Glen Road area of Newtownstewart was entered. Police say a number of items of jewellery and a sum of cash stolen were reported to have been stolen.

Police are also investigating another break-in at a house on Davis Crescent in Newtownstewart.

It was reported that sometime between 9pm on Saturday night and 8.30am on Sunday morning the property was entered but again, it is not known if anything was stolen as a result of the incident.

A fourth burglary in the Hawthornes Road area of Sion Mills was targeted shortly before midnight on Saturday night. A number of items of jewellery were taken.

Police have since confirmed that a link between all four is a definite line of enquiry.

Detective Sergeant Brian Reid, who is the officer leading the investigation, has urged anyone with information or who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the areas around these times, to get in touch with police.



"Detectives are investigating the possibility of a link between all four burglaries and I am appealing for anyone with any information about the burglaries or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact detectives in Strand Road on 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111," he said this week.

Detective Reid has also moved to warn homeowners and business owners across the district to vigilant and secure their properties, especially in the run up to the forthcoming busy festive period.

He has urged people not to make themselves an 'easy target for criminals' and to heed some basic crime prevention advice.

"Police would continue to remind people to be vigilant and secure their properties, especially in the run up to Christmas. Take time to review your home security and take the appropriate steps to protect your home and belongings.

"If you need any crime prevention advice, please call your local crime prevention officer on the 101 number.

"It is imperative that people remember to close and lock windows and doors at night or when the house is unoccupied. If your doors aren't secure, neither is your home so do not make it an easy target for criminals - close it, lock it and check it.

"It is also wise to keep valuables out of sight. A safe is a wise investment for securing precious items such as jewellery, credit cards or financial documents. Don't leave keys in plain view or in a door lock.

"The community can also play a part by looking out for neighbours, reviewing household security, making sure that doors and windows are kept locked and reporting any suspicious activity immediately to police," Detective Reid added.

Condemning the incidents, West Tyrone SDLP MLA and Policing Board member, Daniel McCrossan, has urged vigilance.

"While it is certainly disappointing and contrary to the spirit of the season, the danger of burglaries can increase this time of year, with longer nights and people getting their Christmas shopping finished before the rush.

"I would encourage everyone to be vigilant in the coming weeks and alert the police to any suspicious activity. It is also vital that people ensure their homes are secure, ensuring that they lock windows and doors," he said.


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