THIEVES who have broken into three cars in Scarva in as many months are preying on walkers who enjoy the scenic towpath route, it has been claimed.
Since May this year two handbags, a phone, a wallet and money have been stolen from cars parked in the area and the latest victim said she is distraught at the loss of “sentimental and irreplacable” photographs.
The Banbridge woman, who did not wish to be named, said she had placed her handbag, containing a purse and her phone, out of sight in the car which was parked at the Scarva Tea Rooms.
But despite this the window of the passenger door on her car was broken and her belongings stolen.
“It’s not so much the bag or money I care about,” the woman told the Leader. “My phone had photographs on it that are of special significance and sentimental value. They include family wedding photos that I don’t have copies of, so they are irreplacable. I would be so grateful if the phone was returned to me.”
Police confirmed there have been a number of similar thefts in the area this year. Linda Drummond, supervisor in the Tea Rooms, said that even one of her staff members had been a victim of the car thieves recently.
“One of the girls that works here had left her car parked here overnight and came back to find someone had stolen her hubcaps,” she said. She said there is a sign in the car park warning people not to leave valuables in the car and leaflets offering advice on vehicle security in the cafe.
The latest victim said her view of Scarva has been tainted by the experience. “You hear about Scarva being this picturesque little village where nothing bad ever happens but if this is just one of many thefts recently then something really needs to be done,” she said.
Anyone who may know of the whereabouts of the mobile phone containing pictures can contact the Leader office on 028 40662745 and we will reunite the owner with her phone.
Police advised people to ensure valuables are out of sight and that their vehicle is properly secured. Anyone in need of further adivce can speak to their local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.