Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Appeal to trace car linked to robbery spree

Police have issued an appeal to the public for help in tracing a vehicle believed to have been involved in a string of burglaries in the district.  A grey Volkswagen Golf with a black bonnet and possibly bearing an English registration plate was seen in areas of south Armagh and south Down around the time of reported burglaries.  Detectives investigating have appeal to anyone who may have spotted a vehicle matching this description to contact them on 101 quoting reference 643 01/12/17.

Meanwhile residents of Bessbrook and the wider district are being urged to be extra vigilant following a recent spate of robberies in the area when six premises were reportedly broken into inside a 30-minute period on Wednesday evening last. 

Intruders forced entry to homes in Cotters Bridge, Brookville Crescent, Clougharevan Park and Derrymore Road between 5.30pm and 6.00pm and a number of items have been reported stolen, police have said.  An attempt was also made to gain entry to a house at Shaughan Road, Belleek around 9pm the same evening.

Sinn Fein Councillor Roisin Mulgrew condemned the incidents and appealed to people to be alert.  Describing the incidents as “a carbon copy” of similar robberies that occurred around the same time last year, she advised residents to report any suspicious activity to the police.

 “In a matter of hours on Wednesday evening past, four homes and two local businesses were broken into. This recent spate of robberies, a carbon copy of the type of attacks on our homes and property that we as a community suffered last year, has caused great concern,” Councillor Mulgrew said.

“I have spoken directly to the PSNI and requested the deployment of extra patrols in the area in response to this latest criminal activity. I also urge everyone to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Those engaged in these criminal attacks on our homes and properties need to be apprehended and face the full rigours of the law.”

SDLP Slieve Gullion Councillor Kate Loughran has also urged residents and business owners to be on the alert.

“I would encourage local people to exercise vigilance and look out for their neighbours in the days ahead. We are heading into the Christmas period and the last thing any of us need is to become a victim of a burglary,” Councillor Loughran said.

Praising locals who alerted the public, she added: “I have to commend those people who took to social media recently to warn neighbours of suspicious vehicles that were seen in the area. I would encourage anyone who does see anything of concern to get in touch with the PSNI as soon as possible.”

 Detectives are investigating a link between the break-ins and have appealed for anyone who witnessed the incidents or who may have relevant information to contact them on 101 quoting reference number 1147 of 29/11/17.