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Gang target pensioner in Donemana burglary

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A DONEMANA pensioner is unlikely to return to the home she had lived in for decades after thieves ransacked it, police have revealed.

The caravan home of the well-known 83-year-old woman was targeted last week.

It's believed that a gang of up to four males entered it on the Lisnarragh Road sometime on Tuesday.

According to police who are investigating the incident, the culprits not only made off with a TV but they also caused widespread destruction by wrecking the interior, smashing windows and leaving water running.

Details of the incident only came to light on Friday afternoon when the PSNI issued an appeal for information.

They said witnesses observed a group of males running from the direction of the caravan's location and are appealing for anyone with further information to come forward. In a statement, PSNI Constable Robb outlined the timeline of the burglary.

"Sometime between 10.30am and 7pm, a static caravan on the Lisnarragh Road, Donemana, had its windows broken and persons forced entry stealing a Walker 32-inch television," he said.

"They also ransacked the property causing substantial damage and left the water running. The 83-year-old victim now faces the prospect of having to leave the home she has occupied for decades.

"Police have made local enquiries which have placed three or four young males in the area at the time. These males were sighted running down Lisnarragh Road towards Donemana village with a wheelie bin."

It is understood that the elderly woman was not in the property when it was targeted.

Local councillor, Patsy Kelly, knows the homeowner well and says she will have been left devastated by the incident.

"I know the lady very well and she will have been left very upset by this. She has lived in the caravan for years and it was her pride and joy. This will have been very distressing for her.

"It's shocking to think someone would target an elderly person like this. It's usually a very quiet area.

"I would urge anyone with any information whatsoever to take it to the PSNI and help catch the people behind this," the Derry City and Strabane District Council representative said.

Also appealing for other witnesses to come forward, Constable Robb added: "Anyone who was in the area and witnessed the incident or has any information relating to it is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 390 of the 12/04/2017.

"Or alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity, Crimestoppers, and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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