Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster to discuss rise in burglaries after two Clogher Valley churches targeted

By Michelle Weir

DUP leader Arlene Foster said she plans to discuss the "rising levels of burglaries" in Co Tyrone with the PSNI after two churches were targeted.

Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian and St Mary's, which are on the main A4 Belfast to Enniskillen road, were broken into on Tuesday night. Funds for missionary work raised by the Sunday School, dinner money from the adjoining school and audio visual equipment were stolen, a loss of up to £10,000.

A silver Peugeot car believed to have been used in the burglaries was abandoned at Ballagh Road and has been recovered.

These are just the latest in a spate of burglaries in the district. It is understood two break-ins occurred at residential properties on Friday and on Sunday.

Clogher Valley councillor Wills Robinson, an elder of Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church, said: "To break into any building at Christmas time is disgraceful, but to break into a church is to be condemned in the strongest terms. This is a heartless and pathetic act against the community who support the church."

Mrs Foster added: "It is disgraceful that anyone would target a church building and it is vital that those responsible are brought to justice. This is a church with a very active outreach into the local community and I know that everyone in the local area will be appalled at what has occurred.

"This is not an isolated incident, however, and I will be discussing rising levels of burglary in the Clogher Valley area with the PSNI."

Police appealed for witnesses.

A PSNI spokesman said: "It was reported that sometime between 3pm on Tuesday and 9am on Wednesday a place of worship on Ballagh Road was entered and a camera and sum of cash stolen.

"It was reported that sometime between 6pm on Tuesday and 9.30am on Wednesday entry was gained to a second place of worship, also on the Ballagh Road. Nothing is believed to have been stolen. However, extensive damage was caused to an internal door in the building."

Belfast Telegraph

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