Police have stepped up patrols in Dromara in response to a spate of crimes in and around the village over the past few months.
Responding to the incidents, which have included a creeper-style burglary and a number of thefts from parked cars, Chief Inspector Lorraine Dobson gave an assurance that police are targeting their resources in a bid to protect the local community. And she also appealed to local people to “take basic crime prevention steps” to safeguard their property.
During the latest incident, three males broke into a property in the Meadow Lane area at around 9.40pm on January 4 and took a set of car keys.
Luckily the householders disturbed the thieves, who were forced to flee before they could steal the vehicle.
The men are believed to have made their escape in a silver coloured VW Golf car.
Over the past few months there has been a spate of crimes in the village.
Cars have been broken into outside the doctors’ surgery and in the car park at First Dromara Presbyterian Church. On each occasion the thief gained access to the vehicle and stole a handbag.
One of the incidents at the church car park was carried out while a parent was collecting a child from Boys’ Brigade, and the other during a Girls’ Brigade Christmas party at which the victim was helping out.
The victim of the latter theft, who had her handbag and purse stolen, took to Facebook to warn others not to leave valuables in their cars.
One local resident, who didn’t want to be named, commented: “The fear within the local churches is that whoever is doing this is aware of the church programmes and is deliberately targeting people who are attending church events.”
She added: “There has been quite a police presence in the village over Christmas; definitely been a bigger police presence in the area in recent weeks, so maybe they are reacting to what’s been going on.”
Responding to local residents’ concerns about the recent spate of crimes, Chief Inspector Dobson said: “In response to incidents across the district, we constantly review and monitor occurrences and where hotspots or spikes in criminal activity such as burglary are identified we react immediately.
“We have worked hard to reduce the number of burglaries in the district and we continue to do so. We have increased patrolling in the area and are also engaged in targeting our resources in the most effective way.”
Stressing that police are “acutely aware” of the negative impact crimes such as theft and burglary can have on individuals and communities, she added: “We continue to work with the community to address their specific concerns. We would appeal to the public to continue to report all incidents of suspicious activity with as much information as possible, and to ensure that they take basic crime prevention steps like locking all windows and doors and ensuring that valuables are kept out of sight.”
Police investigating the creeper burglary and thefts have appealed for anyone with information to contact them at Lisburn Police Station on 101, or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.