Woman in 90s held in room during ‘abhorrent’ burglary

A woman aged in her 90s has been held by burglars during a burglary in Clooney, Co Derry overnight.

The intruders cut the internal wire to the woman’s telephone preventing her from raising the alarm until 7am this morning.

Officers said that they received a report that three men who were wearing dark clothing with their hoods up and faces covered had gained entry to the house at around 4am this morning.

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Detective Sergeant Chambers said: “We received a report that three men, described as wearing dark clothing with hoods up and faces covered, had gained entry to a house in the area at around 4.00am this morning by smashing a pane of glass in the rear door.

“A woman in her 90s was alone in the property and was prevented from leaving her bedroom by one of the men while the other two ransacked her home. At this stage, it is not believed that anything was stolen.

“Before leaving empty-handed, the men cut the internal wire to the phone to prevent the woman from seeking assistance, leaving her unable to raise the alarm until 7.00am.”

Detective Sergeant Chambers continued: “This intrusion was undoubtedly a frightening experience, although we are thankful that the woman was physically unharmed.

“It’s particularly abhorrent that the actions of these criminals left an older person in such a vulnerable position, unable to seek help from her family.

“Our enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident. We have reason to believe that this burglary may be linked to three other suspected attempted break-ins in the area overnight.

“We would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area, or who may have relevant doorbell or CCTV footage, to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 401 of 17/12/23.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe and protected in their own home. If you have any concerns around your security, please contact police and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer. We would also appeal to our local community to keep an eye on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours.”

A report can be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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