Police hunt gang after Armagh pensioner roused by burglar in bedroom
AN elderly woman who woke up to find a burglar standing in her bedroom was among those targeted in a spate of break-ins in a Co Armagh village.
The incident came as part of what appears to have been a spree across Markethill on Thursday morning.
Nothing was stolen from the pensioner but there was damage to her home and she was left shocked.
PSNI Detective Inspector Stephen Harvey said police believe three burglaries in the area may be linked.
"At 11.22am it was reported to police that two males had entered a house in the Coolmillish Road area, between Markethill and Tassagh," he said,
"One male, described as being approximately 5ft 10ins tall and of medium build, wearing a hoodie and who spoke with a local accent, entered the female occupant's bedroom where she was asleep. Nothing is believed to have been taken. The woman was not physically injured, but damage was caused where entry had been forced.
"A short time later the occupant of a house in the Ashlea Gardens area of Markethill reported to police that entry had been forced to her home sometime between 9.20am and 11.22am. A sum of money and some items of jewellery were stolen.
"At approximately 12.18pm, it was reported to police that two males had entered a house in the Forest Park area of Markethill that morning, at around 9.20am. The men claimed to be from the electricity board. The men stayed a brief time before leaving. Nothing was reported stolen."
The PSNI has urged anyone who may have information about the incidents, particularly in relation to any suspicious vehicles in the areas, to contact detectives by calling 101.
Newry and Armagh MLA William Irwin slammed those behind the burglaries and called for more resources to deal with rural crime.
"This really is scandalous and it is believed that this is another cross-border crime spree targeting local towns," the DUP man said.
"It is abhorrent that those behind this feel so confident that they can carry out these break-ins in broad daylight without fear of being caught.
"It is also frightening for people, especially our elderly community, to experience this type of criminality, and imagine the shock and fear to wake to find a burglar standing in your bedroom. These are despicable incidents where thugs are prowling the borough looking for easy pickings, it is scandalous."