Pensioner targeted in armed robbery at his home left 'shaken', says daughter

Thursday, 26 January 2017

THE daughter of an elderly man who was the victim of a terrifying armed robbery at his home outside Omagh, has said that her father has been left 'shaken' by the ordeal.

Eighty-year-old William Monteith, was threatened with a hammer before being forced to hand over a sum of cash during the incident on the Drumnakilly Road at around 7pm on Thursday of last week.

The incident unfolded as a bogus caller approached the pensioner's home asking if he wanted his boiler serviced. When Mr Monteith said no, the man then asked if he could use the toilet. The intruder then threatened him with a hammer and demanded money. Mr Monteith handed over a sum of cash and the intruder made off in a waiting van. Speaking to the Tyrone Constitution, William's daughter, Audrey Adams, said that her father was left "shaken" as a result of the incident.

She said: "He's shaken up by the whole incident. It's very annoying that someone would do that to a pensioner. He used a hammer as a threat which is not nice.

"I would just say to people to be careful and to know the identity of the person before they open the door. Because daddy did have his door locked, I would just say to people to be sure of identity before they unlock the door and let people in. If it's someone genuine they will have ID and be able to show it."

The aggravated burglary has prompted a fresh appeal for vigilance regarding bogus callers. A spokesperson from the PSNI said: "I would like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to treat with caution any stranger who comes to their door.

"Bogus callers use many guises, such as working for an electricity company, the water service, a satellite or cable TV provider and even pretend that they have lost a ball or even a cat or dog in your property."

Condemning the incident, West Tyrone DUP MLA., Tom Buchanan, said: "This is yet another incident where the elderly, especially in the rural areas are easy targets for this type of thuggery from the scum of society.

"I have no doubt this elderly gentleman, the victim of this attack is now living in fear, yet unfortunately, rather than having the confidence in our security services and justice system that those responsible will be apprehended and brought to justice, he like many others will simply be added to the ever growing list of statistics as another unsolved vicious burglary in West Tyrone.

"As on previous occasions I unreservedly condemn this incident and my thoughts and prayers are with the victim. However, words of condemnation ring hollow when no action is being taken to stem the flow of burglaries and robberies in this rural area.

"I again call on the PSNI to step up their presence within the rural areas to help prevent further such attacks on our elderly residents. Also for the community to be extremely vigilant and report any suspicious activity, no matter how small to the PSNI to leave them with no excuse for not taking action."

Retiring UUP MLA., Ross Hussey, also said: "This particular attack was cowardly and savage. Anyone who thinks that it's acceptable to threaten an elderly man with a hammer certainly needs a stronger message back from the courts that it will not be tolerated.

"An elderly man who has worked all his life to find a thug threatening him and stealing money is not something anyone wants to read about. I know the family particularly well and I wish Mr Monteith all the very best for the future.

"I urge anyone that knows anything to contact the police. In recent times we have seen similar types of these incidents and clearly people must be on their guard against strangers in their area and if we are a member of a neighbourhood watch scheme report your suspicions to your co-ordinator or directly to the police."

If anyone has any information they are asked to contact detectives at Omagh Police Station on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1002 of 19/01/17. Or alternatively if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on: 0800 555 111.


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete