Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Burglary sees local artists band together

Musicians and artists across the city have ‘banded’ together to support a local film maker whose entire stock of equipment was stolen during a burglary.

Will McConnell, who runs BandWidth, a music production business, had briefly left his parents’ house where he was working on a documentary when the burglars struck on Wednesday, April 6.

Now Belfast’s music community has come together to set up a gig to help him out — and the surplus they raise will go to helping other artists.

Will said he was “touched” by the reaction.

“People have been highly spontaneous and generous — now it’s going to be an organisation to help struggling musicians and artists,” he said.

Katie Richardson, of Katie and the Carnival, said: “I wanted to get involved because I’ve worked with Will before — he’s done a lot for the music community in Belfast.”

“We all wish this had never happened, but it’s about turning this into something positive, into something that can help Will and other musicians.

“It’s good to see people who are willing to donate time, energy and talent and support each other.”

Will said he left the house for around 30 minutes, at around 2.05pm, and when he returned he thought “someone was playing a trick” on him, but after seeing the room had been “turned around” he knew his house had been targeted.

He continued: “I was in my parents’ house in Cranmore Park, working on a documentary about Foy Vance — all my kit was there.

“They took tools from the toolshed and used them to break the window.”

Among the haul was Will’s Macbook pro and two Canon cameras and his parents’ and sister’s laptops. His father’s office was also ransacked.

He says this is not the first time the area has been targeted, and that a number of neighbours’ homes were burgled in similar incidents approximately a year ago.

He said a neighbour had been able to give a description of the burglar.

“There was a big red van outside our house that said ‘Boiler’ on the side of it,” he said.

“And a bald man was seen running up the side of our house in a boiler suit, he was about 5ft 5in.

“We weren’t having any work done to our boiler.”

The PSNI have appealed for any one with information to contact police at Lisburn Road on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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