Belfast thieves who smashed Bentley into house risked killing youngsters
Car thieves who bragged online about crashing an £80,000 Bentley through a wall into the front garden of a Belfast house could have killed children, an MLA has said.
The luxury vehicle was spotted by police speeding through Divis in the lower Falls Road on Saturday afternoon.
The male driver lost control and crashed the car into the side of a house on Clonfaddan Street where it caught fire.
It's understood a number of young children were in the house at the time.
Sinn Fein MLA for west Belfast Fra McCann said those responsible were well-known in the area and included a group of recently released prisoners.
"I live only yards away from where the incident happened," he said. "I've been speaking to the family who live there, it was a very difficult situation for them. It could easily have led to death or serious injury.
"My understanding is that there are some people who have been released from prison and are back into the fray again and torturing the community."
Mr McCann said he has told the PSNI that "something needs to give". He added: "They have been arrested on numerous occasions and released. There are questions that need to be answered about the activities of this small group of people who hold this community to ransom."
PSNI North Belfast wrote on their Facebook page: "How a child or pedestrian was not hurt or killed I do not know."
They added that in recent days there has been an increase in the use of stolen vehicles for 'death driving' in the lower Falls area.
A self proclaimed vigilante has named the alleged driver online, sharing his picture along with an image of the Bentley resting against the front of the house.
In a Facebook post, he said: "We will go to the doors of these scumbags and ask them to leave the area. If they don't we will then picket their doors. If we do this we can't stand on our own."
In the comments below the photo, the 'DHLA Hoods' ridiculed the person who posted the pictures: "That Bentley was a rocket too - wanna heard the roars," they said. "It's a big 6lt petrol that was proper order that. Youse are all jealous cuz yas can't do it the way we do it. DHLA run the show and youse all know it yeah."
Mr McCann called the comments unhelpful: "These insults being traded over the internet don't do anything for the family who had their house damaged or for the local community making sense of it.
"The other thing is that some of those who would be faulting this are also the people who would say 'don't cooperate with the police'. They have questions to answer.
"The only way that you can solve this thing is working together with a multi-agency approach and the police need to play a big part in this."