Masked, violent gangs burgle two elderly women

The gangs forced their way into the homes of two pensioners, said the PSNI
The gangs forced their way into the homes of two pensioners, said the PSNI
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Masked gangs carried out two separate aggravated burglaries against lone elderly women on Tuesday evening, police have said.

Three masked men wearing dark clothing entered a house in the Creevamoy Road area of Broughshane at 8pm. Claiming to be from a paramilitary organisation, one of them restrained the occupant, a woman in her seventies, while the other two searched the house for around an hour. They took a sum of money and left by climbing a gate to the rear of the property.

Police said the victim was not physically injured but was left shaken by the incident.

Detectives are asking anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact them in Ballymena on 101, quoting reference 1787 03/12/19. Alternatively, information can be given anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Three hours earlier, at around 5pm, four men whose faces were covered with scarves, entered a house in the Maryville Court area of Belfast.

The four men, who were unknown to the occupant, knocked on the door and when a woman in her sixties opened it, one of them forced her inside with a gun. The men then ransacked the house and made off with cash. The woman was not physically injured but was left “extremely traumatised by her ordeal” police said.

Detective Sergeant O’Flaherty said; “This was a cowardly act by a group of men who thought nothing of frightening an innocent woman.”

He appealed for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity to call police at Musgrave on tel 101, quoting ref 1335 03/12/19, or to leave information on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. Police are not linking the two burglaries.