An elderly woman in her 90s has been left traumatised after three masked men ransacked her home in Loughbrickland.
Alderman Junior McCrum who knows the lady said that it was “disgraceful and despicable that people would target a vulnerable person”.
After visiting the woman after her ordeal, he feels it could be a case of “mistaken identity”.
While the woman was not physically hurt, Alderman McCrum says she was left traumatised by the incident and “thankful the intruders did not harm her”.
It is understood that she was not the only householder in the village to be targeted on the evening of Monday, 29 October. However, in the second incident the suspects were challenged by the occupant of the house before fleeing.
Police received a report shortly after 7.40pm on 29 October of an attempted burglary in Woodside Park.
“When challenged by the occupant, one of the suspects threatened him. The suspect is described as being approximately 6’ tall, of medium build and wore a peaked cap and grey top, and a scarf to cover his face. It was reported the suspects then fled in what was described as a silver-coloured, saloon vehicle.
“A short time later, just before 8pm, we received a further report that when a female occupant of a house located nearby, in the Woodvale area, answered the door at around 7.15pm three masked men pushed past her.
“One of the suspects stayed with the woman, who is aged in her 90s, while the other two men ransacked rooms in the house. The suspects subsequently fled the property with a sum of money,” said Superintendent Wendy Middleton.
Alderman McCrum said that Loughbrickland and Banbridge “seem to be a target for these types of burglaries due to their close proximity to the A1 carriageway” allowing thieves a quick getaway.
“Anybody who knows anything about these suspects, I’m asking you to contact the police so they can be apprehended and brought before the courts.
“I sincerely hope that this lady will get over what has been a traumatic time for her.
“Any information could be vital, even if you think it is insignificant. All the pieces can make up the jigsaw.
“Coming up to Christmas I would ask people to check on their neighbours or those living on their own,” said Alderman McCrum.
Superintendent Wendy Middleton said police are linking the two incidents and would urge anyone with information to contact police.
“The suspects are described as being of slim build, tall and are reported to have worn dark clothing with scarves and hats covering their faces
“Our enquiries are continuing, and we believe that both reports in Woodside Park and Woodvale may be linked at this time.
“I want to make a number of appeals. Were you in the Woodvale area or Woodside Park area particularly between 7pm and 8pm on Monday 29 October?
“Did you see a number of males acting suspiciously, or any strange vehicles in the area, in particular a silver-coloured, saloon vehicle?
“I would appeal to anyone who has information about either of these incidents, and which they believe may assist our investigation, to get in touch with detectives in Lurgan on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference numbers 1154 of 29/10/18 or 1123 29/10/18.”