Newry man speaks about house break-in horror

Posted by
Sunday, March 18th, 2012
Community, News

The incident happened in the Knockdarragh area of Newry

A local man has described how his late night toilet trip saw him disturb a thief who, moments earlier, had broken into his house. The Newry Times reader – who wishes to remain anonymous – spoke today of the shock of having an intruder in his house while his wife and seven year old daughter lay fast asleep upstairs. The incident happened on Thursday 15th March at approximately 3.20am in the Knockdarragh area of the city and the police were called to the scene shortly after. John* described the incident. “Myself , my wife and seven year old daughter were in the house on Thursday and at around 3.15am  I got up to use the bathroom and I heard a noise outside at the back door. It was not a loud noise but enough to warrant a walk downstairs to check and to reassure my wife that there was nobody in the house or back garden. When I went downstairs I checked our sliding doors to the patio which were secure and then the rear door.” To John’s* horror he discovered that although the rear door was shut, it was unlocked and the cylinder had been forcibly removed. “The cylinder had been snapped off from the outside making the lock ineffective. Thankfully I had clearly disturbed the thief before he came into my house and made off with my car keys and car. After the police left I then spent the rest of the night until daybreak unable to go to bed as the door could not be secured. I have now changed all the cylinders to each external door after I was told by the police that this is typical of a ‘silent break-in’, where the cylinder can be snapped off externally making the lock ineffective. The new cylinders are more effective against this, they are not as easily broken.” John* says that more needs to be done to tackle this kind of crime and he believes public awareness is key to preventing future crimes of a similar nature. He continued, “It is frightening to think that when you secure your house at night before going to bed that a thief can get in basically under your nose by removing the cylinder to a lock from a door which has a five point locking system. There needs to be further public awareness of this type of ‘silent break-in’ and the problems with these door cylinders. Our residents group will be certainly bringing this to everybody’s attention in Knockdarragh. In addition the Police, our council and insurance industries should provide further public awareness on this issue through the local media.” One positive for John* however was the response of the Police to the crime. He added, “The response to the incident by the police was first class and also our council, who have been assisting us with street lighting issues in Knockdarragh to improve security.”

Speaking to Newry Times a spokesperson for the PSNI confirmed that they are appealing for information. “Around 3.20am on Thursday, 15th March, the occupants were woken by a loud noise. They discovered that the lock had been removed from one of the doors before the burglar made off.”

Police are appealing to anyone who noticed any activity around the area during the early hours of Thursday morning to contact them on 0845 600 8000. If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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