Two homes targeted in Derry creeper burglaries
Two families have told of their nightmares after they were both targeted by creeper burglars who made their escape in cars owned by the residents.
In one case, the sneak thieves even returned to the same house to steal a second car.
Anita Bradley lives in the quiet residential area of Tara Park in Londonderry and tried to stop one thief driving off in her car.
She had just said goodnight to a friend at around 1.30am on Sunday morning and was standing at her kitchen door when she saw a man walking up the driveway of her home and click open her car.
For an instant she thought the man was her husband, but quickly realised that the man in the black hooded top was in fact a stranger who was just about to drive off in her car.
She rushed to the passenger side door and tried to get the man out but despite her valiant efforts she was forced to watch while he sped off down the street.
However, it appears this may not have been the thief’s first visit to the Bradley family home.
Speaking to the North West Telegraph, Anita's husband Jim said: “Once Anita realised the man was stealing her car she squealed on me to come quick which I did because I knew there was something wrong.
“I ran downstairs and out of the house but by that time all I saw was the tail lights of her car. I called on Anita to bring me my car keys so I could follow but it was then that we realised my car had been taken as well.
“My car is a BMW Coupe which is a fast powerful car and we think now that they came into the house, took the car keys to both cars and free wheeled my car out of the street quietly so no one could hear the engine.
“They didn't get too far in my car, they obviously couldn't handle it because it was crashed at the Fernabbey roundabout not too far away. But they were that arrogant they came back for Anita's Fiesta.
“This has been very traumatic for Anita who has been left afraid to be at home.”
Police recovered Anita's car burned out in Rossnagalliagh, a short distance from their home.
But a second family also fell foul of the culprits just two hours later at their home in nearby Whiteabbey Park.
Paul and Faye Smith and their three daughters were asleep in their beds when their house was broken into. This time the thieves made off with Mrs Smith's purse and house keys which were in her handbag, as well as stealing their Peugeot car. Mrs Smith said: “It is a nightmare.”