Locality reeling from 24-hour crime spree

September 27, 2011

By Brónagh Murphy

Communities in south Armagh are reeling from a spate of burglaries in which thieves carried out raids on five properties in the area in less than 24 hours.

The incidents occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday at homes in Culloville, Dromintee and Cloughoge.

The first incident occurred between 1.40pm and 5.05pm on Tuesday when entry was gained to a house on the Ellisholding Road in Cloughoge and a quantity of jewellery was stolen.

Later the same evening there were two reported incidents in Malachy Conlon Park, Culloville, one of which was thwarted by the owner who was at home at the time.  Around 10.10pm the owner reported an attempted break-in at their home while in the second incident entry was gained to a house sometime between 7pm and midnight and a number of items of jewellery were taken.

At present, police are investigating a link between these two incidents.

Meanwhile, the crime spree continued on Wednesday when two properties in the Dromintee area were targeted.  A break-in at a house in Carrickbroad Road was reported to have occurred sometime between 8.30am and 4.30pm while in another more sinister encounter, the culprits were witnessed carrying out the robbery at a premises on New Line Road.

Despite being reported to police while the robbery was in progress, officers declined to attend the scene and the thieves were able to carry on unabated.  This particular incident has angered the victim, and a local councillor, who have been vociferous in their criticism of the police response.

Police have said they are investigating each reported incident and although no link has as yet been established, they will follow all lines of enquiry.

Asking for the community’s support, a police spokesperson said: “Burglary is a policing priority for officers in Newry who do their utmost to find those responsible and bring them before the courts.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Jimmy McCreesh said the increasing trend of violent robberies is worrying and called for a better response from the PSNI.

“I am calling on the police to examine their approach to preventing robberies and also I have heard numerous complaints from people regarding the long delay between a crime being reported and the PSNI responding.  I would also therefore ask the police to justify this,” he said.