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West Belfast locals intervene to stop theft of tourists' property

A suspected attempt to snatch property belonging to French tourists visiting west Belfast has been thwarted after locals intervened.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the report of the attempted theft of articles from a vehicle belonging to the man and woman in the Albert Street area at approximately 1pm on Thursday.

Sinn Fein's Paul Maskey condemned the "disgraceful attack".

Mr Maskey said: "This was a disgraceful attack on a tourist enjoying the well known hospitality of Belfast.  I am sure the tourist was left shocked but I want to send him greetings from west Belfast.

"I am heartened that a number of local people intervened and recovered the stolen property as the attacker made off. Those who helped represent the real face of west Belfast.

"West Belfast is open and welcoming to all and indeed tourists visit the Falls area support the local economy every day of the week, 365 days a year.

"The PSNI have an image of the attacker and hopefully he can be apprehended soon and brought before the courts.

"I would appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI."

Sergeant David Mahood said: "We would appeal to anyone who has information about this incident to get in touch with police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 578 of 11/5/17.

"Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111."

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