An armed gang who tied up a terrified mother and her teenage son while robbing their Co Tyrone home have been branded “cowards”.
The gang of five men — one of whom was armed with a rifle and another with a shotgun — arrived at the family home in the isolated Glenelly Road area of Plumbridge shortly after 9pm last night.
Police have confirmed the gang tied up the woman and her 17-year-old son before carrying out the robbery.
The chairman of Strabane District Policing Partnership James Emery branded those who carried out the attack “cowards”.
He said: “These five men armed with guns did this to a woman and her young son.
“This was a cowardly attack on a woman and a boy and it must have been a very terrifying ordeal for them. It is just absolutely dreadful.”
The Strabane UUP district councillor added that people in the area were understandably nervous in the light of the incident. “With the dark nights now the risk is greater and especially in rural areas like this,” he said.
And he added: “I would urge people to review their security and to also look out for relatives, especially if they are elderly or live in isolated communities like this.”
DUP West Tyrone MLA Allan Bresland also sent his sympathies to the family.
Mr Bresland said: “This family must have been terrified.”
A PSNI spokeswoman said yesterday of the robbers: “They are believed to have made off with a sum of money in the direction of Plumbridge.
“They are believed to be in their 20s and all had their faces covered.
“Anyone who noticed any unusual activity in the area is asked to contact detectives at Strabane on 0845 6008000. Information can also be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”