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Businessman shot in face during robbery

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A MASKED three-man gang broke into the home of a Plumbridge businessman on Monday night and shot him in the face with a pellet gun during an altercation before escaping with a sum of cash.

The incident occurred around 1am at Landahussy Road, just on the Gortin side of the edge of the village. It is understood the thugs had broken into the victim's house earlier and lay in wait for his return. The man was overpowered and 'manhandled' once inside.

A spokesman for the PSNI revealed that after the gang demanded money, all parties became involved in an altercation.

"During the scuffle a pellet gun was discharged, striking the 45-year-old victim in the face. The intruders subsequently made off from the property with a sum of cash. The resident was treated by paramedics for some minor facial injuries, but did not require hospital treatment," he said

West Tyrone MLA., Declan McAleer, said this was a terrible crime against the local community.

"This is a terrible crime. Not only is it an attack on this individual, but it is an attack on the wider community. This was clearly a pre-planned attack I have spoken to the PSNI this (Tuesday) morning to underline the seriousness of this incident and I emphasised the importance of catching these robbers as soon as possible."

 

He added he urged anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area around that time of the night to get in touch with the police as every bit of information was vital at this stage of the investigation.

"He is a local employer and is well-known. In an area where there are few employment opportunities the attack on this individual is not welcome and I wish him well."

Mr McAleer said there had been a growing number of crimes in the rural areas in recent times and was worried this was a trend which did not appear to be going away.

"I would urge neighbours to watch out for one another and the PSNI to put more resources into tackling rural crime like so that people who felt vulnerable in isolated areas felt protected," he said.

Detective Sergeant Brian Reid said: "We are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area and who noticed any people or vehicles. Detectives can be contacted by calling 101, quoting reference number 80 11/07/17."

Information about crime can also be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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