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Burglaries soar across the east

POLITICIANS have expressed concern following a spate of burglaries across east Belfast in the space of a week.

Between March 21 and 29 there were seven burglaries at homes across the east of the city as well as one at commercial premises.

Former Lord Mayor Councillor Jim Rodgers, a member of east Belfast District Policing Partnership (DPP), described the news as “worrying”.

“At the last east Belfast DPP meeting concern was expressed at the number of burglaries in the area recently,” he said.

“Obviously it would be nice to see more police on the ground but that’s not possible with the reduction in numbers. But equally since the part-time and full-time reserve were wiped out we are paying a terrible price. What we need is the community themselves getting directly involved and reporting anyone they see acting suspiciously.”

Councillor Robin Newton said police were well aware of the concerns people had in the community following the recent thefts.

“These types of incidents strike fear into the local community and people are frightened to go out at night,” he said.

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“I think police have an idea that there aren’t a great number of people carrying out these burglaries.”

The first incident occured when a property in the Mayflower Street area was broken into sometime between March 21 and 22. A number of items were taken including a laptop computer and an iPod.

On March 26 thieves forced their way into property in the King's Road area. A significant amount of jewellery was taken during this incident.

Sometime between March 27 and 29 burglars entered a house in the Bramcote Street area. A camera, iPod, cash and a quantity of jewellery were taken.

A property in the Dunraven Avenue area was also broken into on March 29. Items taken included a flat screen television and a wallet containing cash along with bank cards.

On the same day thieves broke into house in the Kathleen Court area of the city and made off with a purse containing a large sum of cash and a handbag containing bank cards, photographs and personal items.

Commercial premises were also targeted in the Ladas Way area.

The site had been locked and secured on March 27 but on the site manager's return the following day he found the padlock had been removed along with 400 insulating slabs.

Police believe a vehicle was used to transport the goods.

A police spokeswoman said it did not appear that the incidents were linked.

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