‘ABHORRENT’ Woman in her 90s held in bedroom while burglars ransacked her home

‘ABHORRENT’ Woman in her 90s held in bedroom while burglars ransacked her home

POLICE are appealing for information after an elderly woman’s home was burgled in the early hours of the morning.

The pensioner, who is in her 90s and lives in the Rossbay area of Clooney in Derry, was home alone when three men broke into her house at around 4am on December 17.

Each of the men was wearing dark clothing with hoods and had their faces covered during the incident, which saw one of them hold the elderly woman in her bedroom while the other two ransacked her property.

“We received a report that three men, described as wearing dark clothing with hoods up and faces covered, had gained entry to a house in the area at around 4am by smashing a pane of glass in the rear door,” the PSNI’s Detective Sergeant Chambers said.

"A woman in her 90s was alone in the property and was prevented from leaving her bedroom by one of the men while the other two ransacked her home,” he added.

The burglars are believed to have left the house empty-handed but cut the frightened woman’s phone line leaving her unable to call for help until 7am.

“At this stage, it is not believed that anything was stolen,” Det Serg Chambers said.

"Before leaving empty-handed, the men cut the internal wire to the phone to prevent the woman from seeking assistance, leaving her unable to raise the alarm until 7am,” he added.

“This intrusion was undoubtedly a frightening experience, although we are thankful that the woman was physically unharmed,’ he explained.

"It's particularly abhorrent that the actions of these criminals left an older person in such a vulnerable position, unable to seek help from her family.”

The PSNI believe the incident may be linked to three other attempted burglaries that happened in the same night.

They have appealed for anyone with information relating to the incident to come forward.

"Our enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident,” Det Serg Chambers said.

“We have reason to believe that this burglary may be linked to three other suspected attempted break-ins in the area overnight.

“We would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area, or who may have relevant doorbell or CCTV footage, to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 401 of 17/12/23.”

He added: "Everyone has the right to feel safe and protected in their own home.

“If you have any concerns around your security, please contact police and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer.

“We would also appeal to our local community to  keep an eye on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours."