FIVE houses in the Garvaghy Road area were targeted in a spate of burglaries earlier this week.
The burglaries took place in the Ballyoran and Woodside areas between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
The first was at Ballyoran Manor where a handbag, purse and laptop were taken. An attempt was made to take a car at but this was unsuccessful.
Just after 10 o’clock, intruders gained entry to a house at Woodside Green and stole an X-box and games.
A second house at Woodside Green was also broken into where a television was removed and found outside.
At 4.45 on Tuesday morning, a window of a house at Woodside Gardens was smashed and a youth was seen running from the area.
Less than an hour later, just after 5.30, there was a burglary at a house in Ballyoran Park. A television had been taken from the house and put in the occupant’s car but it is believed the culprits were disturbed by police. They made off with a small sum of cash.
Yvonne Sterritt, of Ballyoran Residents’ Association, said local people were “disgusted” at what had happened. She urged the community to contact the neighbourhood policing team on 07795152346 or the Crimestoppers charity anonymously if they had any information.
“Unless people come forward and report what they know, then these people will not be caught,” she said. “They don’t care who they target, young, old, whatever nationality, they will try to steal people’s property.”
Sinn Fein councillor Paul Duffy revealed that PSNI officers had advised a man to “stay where he was” when he rang them from his bedroom after being woken by the thieves in the middle of the night.
Mr Duffy said, “This was very good advice. Reacting when thieves are violating your home is a natural instinct but one to be avoided. There is no way of knowing whether or not the burglars are armed or even how many there are. Property can be replaced, a life can’t.”
He urged people to exercise caution and to phone police with any information, even if they believed they had been the victims of an attempted break-in.
Police in Portadown are appealing for information and are urging householders to remember to lock their windows and doors. A spokesperson said, “A large number of the burglaries we deal with are opportunist where thieves have made the most of a window or door left opened or a shed or property left insecure.
“All householders should review their security. If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your house. Make sure your doors are strong enough for the job, and fit mortise deadlocks, door chains and viewers and make use of them.”
She also reminded people not to leave keys hanging in the back of doors. “If your keys are hanging inside the door, they (thieves) will break the window and lift the keys. There is a good chance your car keys will be on the same key ring,” she said.
“It is equally as important for neighbours to look out for each other. The chances are that if a criminal targets one house in a particular estate they may try your neighbour or someone else a few doors up. ... if you see someone acting suspiciously note down any important details such as a description or car registration and contact police. We will follow up on your call and there is every possibility your information could prevent a crime.”
Police stress that prevention is key and anyone who wants to find out more on protecting their property should contact the crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.