Charity boxes among property stolen by heartless thieves

Thursday, 27 April 2017

DEEP anger has been expressed after heartless thieves stole a number of charity boxes from a Castlederg petrol station and shop in what has been described as a "disgusting attack on the community".

Riverside Service Station on the Main Street was broken into at about 5am on Saturday.

The perpetrators burst through a door before stealing the two charity boxes, which were for Chest Heart and Stroke and Friends of Kenya, as well as a cash register and a substantial amount of cigarettes. It is estimated a total of 5,000 worth of cash and property was taken during the burglary. Police are appealing for witnesses.

Inspector Davy Burns said: "A dark coloured saloon car was seen on CCTV shortly before 5am. We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity to contact police in Strabane."

Speaking to the Strabane Weekly News, Patsy McGlone, owner of Riverside Service Station, said "the burglary was the last thing he needed".

"CCTV footage has shown a dark coloured vehicle was outside the premises at the time of the burglary," he said.

"Those responsible burst through the door, which obviously cost some damage, and stole around 5,000 worth of cash and goods.

"Of course it is a substantial blow. I have been the owner of the shop for over 20 years and never been targeted before. It's the last thing anyone needs.

"I'm not sure who is responsible but I'd say it's most likely local people involved."


Castlederg-based councillor, Derek Hussey, described the burglary as a "disgusting attack both on the business concerned and on the local community".

"It was disturbing to learn of another burglary having been perpetrated on a business in the Castlederg area over the weekend," he said. 

"There have been similar incidents of this nature within the wider Derg area lately, including one in Killen where the criminals actually returned to the same premises a second time.

"Such incidents are a disgusting attack, not just on those businesses affected but on the local communities that they serve. 

"Small businesses have enough to cope with in their endeavours to survive without thieves carrying out these burglaries. 

"Having had my own premises broken into many years ago, I can understand that it is not just the financial loss that is of concern but the thought of 'why me?'. 

"The simple answer is that there are parasites in the community prepared to steal from others rather than do an honest day's work themselves."

He concluded: "I urge all businesses to ensure that they are doing their best to make it as difficult as possible for such lowlifes to succeed and encourage anyone with any knowledge of such incidents to contact our local police and assist them with their on-going investigations."


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