Pensioner left shaken after town robbery

Thursday, 29 June 2017

A PENSIONER has been left shaken after she was set upon and robbed by two men at the weekend.

The Strabane woman, who is aged in her 60s, was targeted by the heartless culprits as she made her way to her home from the town centre in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Details of the shocking incident first emerged after the lady's son posted an appeal for witnesses on social media.

The 66-year-old was targeted as she walked along Bridge Street between 1am and 1.30am. Two men are understood to have exited from a nearby parked car and chased the victim before snatching her handbag and purse.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident. The incident happened on one of the town's busiest thoroughfares and police have urged witnesses to the robbery or anyone who may have noticed the car in the area around the time to come forward.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "The woman, who was alone, was approached by two men, one of whom grabbed her by the arm and took her handbag before making off.

"Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident, or anyone who was in the area at the time and noticed anything suspicious, to contact them on 101 quoting reference 106 of 25/06/17. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously through the indepdendent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Local MLA., Michaela Boyle, says the incident has caused widespread shock and disgust within the local community where the woman is well-known and well-respected.

She said: "I would firstly extend my heartfelt sympathy to the victim of this robbery and hope that she can recover from the deeply traumatic experience she has been subjected to at the hands of the cowards involved.

"There was believed to be four assailants involved who were lying in wait in a silver coloured car parked on the lay-by at Bridge Street waiting to target anyone they perceived to be 'vulnerable' coming over the bridge from the town centre.

"Two of the assailants got out of the car and chased the victim from Bridge Street down the path at the back of Waterside Street where they grappled and stole her handbag containing her purse before making off again towards the awaiting car."

The Sinn Fein MLA has also appealed for help in catching those responsible. She said such crime in the town is unusual but is deeply concerning.

"People are absolutely disgusted about what has happened to this lady who is both well-known and well respected in the local community.

"It is also the case that, like any other urban area, we have our fair share of anti-social problems but such an 'on-street robbery' has been virtually unheard of. This has added to the shock locally.

"I would appeal to anyone who may have information about the movements of this silver car or its occupants to immediately bring it forward to the police and hopefully those involved can be apprehended and brought before the courts," she added.


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