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Coleraine Coastguard volunteer tied up by masked burglars after call-out

The PSNI said it had been a terrifying ordeal for the man.

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Police are investigating after a Coastguard volunteer was tied up and burgled in his own home by a masked gang (Niall Carson/PA)

Police are investigating after a Coastguard volunteer was tied up and burgled in his own home by a masked gang (Niall Carson/PA)

Police are investigating after a Coastguard volunteer was tied up and burgled in his own home by a masked gang (Niall Carson/PA)

A Coastguard volunteer was tied up by masked burglars in Co Londonderry as he returned from a call-out.

The incident happened in Coleraine in the early hours of Wednesday.

The victim had just returned to his home in the Gateside Road area when the gang dragged him out of his car and into the property.

They then tied him up before stealing a number of items.

The PSNI were alerted shortly after 2.30am.

A spokesman said: “The man was not physically injured; however, this was a terrifying ordeal for him.

“Our inquiries are continuing, and I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the area and saw any suspicious activity between 2.15am and 2.30am today to please get in touch with us by calling the non-emergency number 101, and quoting reference number 166 of 24/06/20.”

We are so angry that, while our volunteers are out risking their lives for their community, others can only think of crimeColeraine Coastguard

Coleraine Coastguard said the man is a member of its volunteer team and had just returned from a call-out.

In a post on Facebook, the team urged anyone with information to speak to police.

“Still wearing his Coastguard overalls and boots, he was subjected to a terrifying ordeal. He was dragged from his car when he arrived home by masked men, tied up and items stolen from his house. Thankfully his family was away staying with relatives.

“We are so angry that, while our volunteers are out risking their lives for their community, others can only think of crime.

“If you have any information, please contact the PSNI.”

Station officer Alistair Simpson said the man had been left “badly shaken”.

“Thankfully he is physically unhurt, just very badly shaken,” he told the BBC.

“It’s not what you expect when you have just returned from a call-out with your colleagues. It’s a terrifying thing to happen to you.

“Thankfully he was on his own. He has a young family but we’re blessed that they were away staying with relatives.

“We’re not sure why he was targeted and that’s very concerning for us all.”

PA