Charity boxes among property stolen by heartless thieves

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Charity boxes among property stolen by heartless thieves thumbnailThe quad that was stolen from a field close to Dunmullan Primary School on Tuesday of last week.

DEEP anger has been expressed after heartless thieves stole a number of charity boxes from a Castlederg petrol station and shop in what has been described as a "disgusting attack on the community".

Riverside Service Station on the Main Street was broken into at about 5am on Saturday.

The perpetrators burst through a door before stealing the two charity boxes, which were for Chest Heart and Stroke and Friends of Kenya, as well as a cash register and a substantial amount of cigarettes. It is estimated a total of 5,000 worth of cash and property was taken during the burglary. Police are appealing for witnesses.

Inspector Davy Burns said: "A dark coloured saloon car was seen on CCTV shortly before 5am. We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity to contact police in Strabane."

It was just one of three incidents to take place over the past week in the West Tyrone area.

On Tuesday of last week, a quad and scrambler were stolen from a silver Ivor Williams trailer in a field close to Dunmullan Primary School.

The incident has left three children "absolutely heartbroken", according to their mother, Alyson Kilpatrick.

A 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and later released on bail pending further enquiries.

Police are also appealing for information in relation to a burglary that occurred between 5.30pm on Saturday and 8.30am on Sunday in Knockgreenan Close, Omagh.

"Police received reports entry was gained to the property via a front window that was tampered with and whilst nothing was taken the perpetrators intended to come back to the property when the occupant was out," Constable Boyle said.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Tyrone Constitution, Patsy McGlone, owner of Riverside Service Station, said "the burglary was the last thing he needed".

"CCTV footage has shown a dark coloured vehicle was outside the premises at the time of the burglary," he said.

"Those responsible burst through the door, which obviously cost some damage, and stole around 5,000 worth of cash and goods.

"Of course it is a substantial blow. I have been the owner of the shop for over 20 years and never been targeted before. It's the last thing anyone needs.

"I'm not sure who is responsible but I'd say it's most likely local people involved."


Castlederg-based councillor, Derek Hussey, described the burglary as a "disgusting attack both on the business concerned and on the local community".

"It was disturbing to learn of another burglary having been perpetrated on a business in the Castlederg area over the weekend," he said. 

"There have been similar incidents of this nature within the wider Derg area lately, including one in Killen where the criminals actually returned to the same premises a second time.

"Such incidents are a disgusting attack, not just on those businesses affected but on the local communities that they serve. 

"Small businesses have enough to cope with in their endeavours to survive without thieves carrying out these burglaries. 

"Having had my own premises broken into many years ago, I can understand that it is not just the financial loss that is of concern but the thought of 'why me?'. 

"The simple answer is that there are parasites in the community prepared to steal from others rather than do an honest day's work themselves."

He concluded: "I urge all businesses to ensure that they are doing their best to make it as difficult as possible for such lowlifes to succeed and encourage anyone with any knowledge of such incidents to contact our local police and assist them with their on-going investigations."


Meanwhile, Alyson Kilpatrick said her children, Ethan, Caitlyn and Lucy, who are aged between 12 and nine, have been left "devastated" by the theft of their quad and scrambler.

"CCTV footage shows they were stolen just before 2pm last Tuesday afternoon," she added.

"The vehicles are worth 8,000 to 9,000 in total and unfortunately they're not covered by insurance as they were stolen away from home."

Police continue to appeal for information.

 Sergeant Gerard Kelly said: "A number of items were inside including a quad bike, scrambler and helmets.

"A black Nissan jeep was reported driving the trailer away. It was later recovered by police on Saturday.

  "We are appealing to anyone with any information, or to anyone who may have been offered a quad bike, scrambler and helmets for sale in suspicious circumstances to contact Omagh Police Station on the non-emergency number 101."

Alternatively if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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