Callous thieves rob pensioners’ homes
Heartless burglars have targeted a number of east Belfast pensioners this new year, in one case raiding a house while the owner was seriously ill in hospital.
Police have confirmed five burglaries took place in the area on January 2.
One of the burglaries occurred on My Lady’s Road while the homeowner was at church and the other in Donard Park, while the occupier was in hospital.
Another burglary was reported to the police at a house on Ranfurly Drive where electrical goods and jewellery were stolen.
Shortly after 9pm on Sunday a house in Dromore Street was burgled and another property on the Castlereagh Road was entered after 11pm and a set of keys stolen.
A son of one of the pensioners, who wished to remain anonymous said: “My parent lost cash, some jewellery and some Christmas presents. The burglars gained entry via the back of the property and went inside and then up the stairs.”
Councillor Michael Copeland said of the burglaries: “Basically, at a time when society was facing great difficulties, with water loss and burst pipes, and communities and citizens were doing their best to help each other and care for the elderly, there were people out there acting at their worst.
“I would appeal for anyone with information on these burglaries to come forward and tell the police everything they know.
“I hope the full rigour of the law is enforced and that these people are caught,” he added.
A police spokesman said: “Burglaries strike at the very heart of communities and are a violation of a person’s home and the result of sheer criminality and greed. They are about someone making a conscious decision to break the law.
“We are aware of the impact that burglaries can have on individual householders and we are committed to placing those responsible before the courts.
“To reduce the number of burglaries taking place we are urging householders to follow some sensible crime-prevention measures to ensure, as far as is practicable, that they will not become an opportunist burglar’s next victim.
“Secure your house, never leave doors or windows unlocked and fit an alarm if you can.
“Vigilance is vital. Keep an eye out for strangers or strange vehicles, particularly around houses that are vacant or under construction and report any suspicions you might have to police straight away.”