Belfast Telegraph

Robbery leaves pensioner shaken

by Natalie Gorman

Police are appealing to south Belfast home owners to stay alert after a woman in her 90s was held up in her home by three men — one brandishing a screwdriver.

The woman was left badly shaken after the robbery that took place at 10pm on Wednesday (December, 29) at the woman’s home in the Locksley Park area.

One of the men approached the pensioner in her living room and remained with her while the other two men searched the house — the three men left with a sum of money.

A police spokes person told the Community Telegraph: “There is no correct course of action — use your judgment, but keep calm and do not take any unnecessary risks. It is a good idea to keep a phone in your bedroom so that you can call police if you need to.

“One of the most common fears people have is that someone will break into their home while they are sleeping.

“Take some simple steps to avoid a confrontation with an intruder, such as making enough noise to scare them away or hiding quietly and calling the police.

“Keep your curtains drawn as a precaution, so that no-one can see who is in your home.

“If you think someone is outside then do not go and investigate. Keep yourself safe, keep the doors locked and call the police immediately on 999.”

South Belfast SDLP councillor Bernie Kelly said: “This is a dreadful incident, coming at a time when we all should be looking out for older people. Elderly people are very vulnerable at the moment because of the water crisis, and for an old lady to go through this ordeal must be terribly traumatic.

“We, as councillors, are trying to make older people our top priority, and it is terrible to see these thugs take advantage of their vulnerability.

“It will have been a very frightening experience and my thoughts are with her.”

One of the men is described as aged 17 or 18 years old, of slim build and wearing a dark coloured hooded jumper. A second male was aged in his early 20s and wore a fawn-coloured hooded jumper and tracksuit trousers. The third male wore dark clothing.

Anyone with information or who witnessed suspicious activity should contact detectives by calling 0845 600 8000, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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