RESIDENTS have told how they are fearful that as Christmas approaches a crime gang could strike again.
People were speaking to ‘Ballymena Daily’ after a woman in her 70s was left “shaken” by being restrained as a masked gang of burglars searched her house for an hour before fleeing with money in a shocking night time raid at Creevamoy Road near Broughshane.
The pensioner, whose spirits appeared to reasonably good on Wednesday afternoon, lives in a house largely hidden from view from the narrow roadway by trees and bushes.
She did not wish to speak about her ordeal.
The closest house to her home is several hundred yards away.
The road is very quiet without much traffic and the only movement at one stage on Wednesday afternoon was a lone cyclist.
Police are investigating a report of a burglary at the house at Creevamoy Road on Tuesday December 3.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “It was reported that three masked men, wearing dark clothing, entered the house shortly after 8pm and searched the property whilst the occupant, a woman aged in her 70s, was restrained by one of the men.
“The men, who claimed to be from a paramilitary organisation, searched the house for around an hour before leaving by climbing a gate at the rear of the property with a sum of money.
“The woman was not injured but was left shaken following the incident.”
Neighbours in the area said it had been a shocking incident and they were hoping for the best but at the same time concerned about such a crime gang being active especially in the run up to Christmas.
One man said: “What happened here has shocked everybody”.
Another man said: “People are now worried it could happen again. It is a disgrace that people, especially the elderly, cannot live without fear in their own homes.
“Everybody should all be able to look forward to Christmas without worry.”
Detectives are investigating and would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact them in Ballymena on 101 quoting reference number 1787 03/12/19.
Alternatively, information can be provided to the independent charity Crimestopperes on 0800 555111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.