Thieves up the ante and target cars while Massgoers are at prayer in County Tyrone
The continued criminal activity surrounding the breaking into and theft of valuables from cars has continued again over the weekend in County Tyrone.
On Friday, during a special 50 year Mass for the Dean Maguirc College, two cars were broken into and valuables stolen outside St Colmcille’s Parish Church. A few hundred parishioners were in attendance at the 50th anniversary Mass at 2.30pm when the crime took place.
Then on Saturday evening at the vigil Mass in Trillick up to 6 more cars were targeted as the spree continued by apparently organised travelling criminal gangs.
Both incidents follow on from similar incidents in Aughnacloy, Dromore and Strathroy.
A police spokesperson advised that windows were smashed in the cars at Carrickmore and a handbag stolen from each vehicle.
West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff, who attended the church service, said today’s incident has caused widespread anger in the mid Tyrone area. He said, “The Carrickmore community and Dean Maguirc College school community is upset and angry what happened here today during a major celebratory occasion. It was a beautiful mass led by Archbishop Eamon Martin to help celebrate the wonderful contribution to life of community.
“Today was a big day in the life of community and its a disgrace that there would be individuals of this low calibre who would carry out these acts. I would ask community to increase its vigilance in and around churches and public buildings where there are large numbers of people assembling.”
These two are just the latest incidents of this nature in Tyrone in the past week.
On Saturday night last weekend, seven cars were broken into and items stolen at St Davog’s Church, Dromore, and a car was also targeted the following evening at a church service in Aughnacloy. Two iPads were also taken from a car at Christ The King Church at Strathroy, on Monday evening.
Police have said it believes travelling criminal gangs are responsible for a number of these thefts.
People are being asked to ensure that valuables are not left in the open in parked cars and to keep an eye out for any such activity in your area.