Belfast Telegraph

Pensioner beaten after couple tied up by masked gang during robbery

By Allan Preston

An elderly man was beat round the head after a masked gang tied him and his wife to chairs during a terrifying robbery in Co Antrim.

Three masked men broke into the house in Donaghbrook Drive, Ballymoney at around 9.40pm on Monday.

Shots were also heard in the same area at the time.

The man in his 70s was hit around the head by one of the assailants. The gang then restrained him and his wife using cable ties and fled the scene with a large sum of money in a vehicle.

The man was taken to hospital with a head injury but has since been released.

PSNI Detective Constable Brennan said: "The man managed to break free and release the woman who then went to a neighbour's house.

"There were also reports of shots fired coming from the Ballybrakes area at around this time."

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey described the attack as "extremely disturbing".

"Those responsible are creating a sense of fear and I utterly condemn their behaviour," he said. "This incident was undoubtedly a frightening experience for the family involved."

Police have appealed for information of any suspicious activity, vehicles or the sound of gunshots on Monday night to call Coleraine police station on 101, quoting reference number 1298.

Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The latest attack follows the revelation that more than 12 elderly people are the victims of crime in Northern Ireland every day.

PSNI figures show more than 4,500 people aged 65 and over were targeted between February 2016 and January this year.

These included 1,276 incidents of criminal damage, 1,063 thefts and 1,005 burglaries.

In addition there were 239 cases of violence with injury against pensioners, including homicide, 499 incidents of violence without injury and 62 sexual offences.

In March alone there were at least five burglaries. On March 28, a man from Kilkeel in his 60s was tied up, assaulted and had his head covered with a pillowcase as thieves raided his house in Slieveshan Park.

March 26 saw a woman in her 80s from Forkhill burgled by two men in their 20s.

Another woman in her 80s from north Belfast was held down in her home on March 23 by an intruder as another searched her bedroom.

On March 12, a woman in her 70s from west Belfast received a cut to her head after confronting an intruder armed with a screwdriver.

Belfast Telegraph


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