‘Older couple’ held in living room after masked gang breaks into house

A MASKED gang is being hunted by police after a couple were held in their living room after their home was burgled.

Detectives are investigating an aggravated burglary at the home of an “older couple” in the Armoy area.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “A number of masked men forced their way into the house on Glenshesk Road at around 8pm last night, Wednesday 21 October.

“One man remained with the couple in their living room while the others searched the property. The men then made off empty-handed.

“Detectives in Coleraine CID are keen to hear from witnesses or anyone with information regarding this crime.

“You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.

“Alternatively, you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org//”

North Antrim DUP MLA and Policing Board member Mervyn Storey said the incident would have been traumatic for the couple involved.

He said the burglary attempt would leave many elderly living in isolated rural locations feeling worried.

“This is an abhorrent attack which has no place in our society,” he said.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the couple concerned who will have to live with the trauma of this ordeal.

“Even amidst the added uncertainty of a pandemic it is clear there are criminals intent on wreaking harm and havoc on our local community. Now more than ever it is imperative that the PSNI redouble efforts to protect and defend those often considered soft targets by these gangs, including our elderly and most vulnerable.

“It is absolutely right that the PSNI investigate every lead to track down those responsible and put them behind bars. I would encourage anyone with information that might help the police investigation to come forward,” the Belfast Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland Eddie Lynch added: “I am appalled and saddened that this older couple had to experience the trauma of masked men invading their home.

“Older people are already facing higher levels of anxiety due to the threat posed by coronavirus and the least they deserve is to feel safe and protected in their own homes.

“If anyone has any information regarding this crime in question, I would urge them to please contact the police.

“As we enter the darker nights I would encourage everyone to look out for the older members within their family and community circles, while adhering to social distancing and public health advice.”

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