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South Belfast residents asked to be vigilant after spate of burglaries

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(Liam McBurney/PA)

(Liam McBurney/PA)

(Liam McBurney/PA)

Residents living in the Stranmillis and Lisburn Road areas of South Belfast are being asked for vigilance after a recent spate of burglaries and creeper burglaries.

At least eight incidents are being investigated by police from the last 12 days.

On August 15 a resident in Donnybrook Street reported a male with a knife inside their house demanding money and drugs. The residents were assaulted and a vehicle stolen. A suspect has been arrested and interviewed.

On the August 20 a caller in Maryville Park reported his car was stolen along with keys and a watch during a creeper burglary.

On the same date a resident in Northbrook Street also reported her car stolen with keys. The keys were in the hallway and the front door was left unlocked overnight. The vehicle was recovered.

On August 23 a resident in Cutters Lane reported her daughter’s room was ransacked, after entry was gained via an exterior window. A computer and tablet was stolen.

On the August 24 a resident in Stranmillis Park reported someone entering their address and stealing car keys and a car. On the same date a resident from the Upper Malone Road area reported numerous items stolen from their address, to the value of £2300. Entry was gained by forcing the living room front window.

On August 25 a caller from the Willesden Park area reported his house had been broken into via the back window/door. A car was taken with keys, and a knife stolen from the kitchen.

On the same date a resident from Marlborough Park area reported a possible break-in after she woke up to find her front door and gate lying open. A small amount of damage was caused to the front door but no disturbance was heard during the night.

Nothing was reported stolen or disturbed.

Councillor for the Botanic area, Gary McKeown said: “These types of crime are very invasive, and aside from the loss of property, can have a lasting impact on people’s wellbeing, and my thoughts are with each of the people affected.

“I would urge anyone who has seen anything suspicious recently to report it. I have asked police to increase patrols in the area to help prevent and detect any further crimes like this. Some of these incidents have been at knifepoint or through forced entry, which is particularly worrying.”

He added: “While it can be difficult to completely prevent a determined criminal from breaking in, there are some steps we can each take, particularly with the evenings closing in, to make our homes less attractive to opportunist thieves.

“Lock all doors and windows at night, or if you’re heading out for a walk or nipping to the shops. Remove anything that would make it easier for a burglar to gain entry through a window, for example any ladders. Put your car keys in a safe place at night.

“If you notice anything suspicious in your street or around a property, you can ring police on 101, or 999 in an emergency. By looking out for each other and ourselves, we can all help reduce this type of crime.”

Belfast Telegraph