AN 83-year-old retired priest’s home in Derrylin was one of several homes targeted by thieves in recent weeks.
Canon Brian McNamara’s home was ransacked while he was receiving treatment to a broken hip in hospital.
The spate of robberies in Derrylin and Teemore has sent shockwaves throughout the village and locals have been urged to remain vigilant.
Parish priest Father Fintan McKiernan believes that the house which is situated on the main road, was being watched for a number of days.
“The thieves ransacked the drawers and clothes searching for valuable goods and all they took was the television,” he said.
“Everything was all over the place, cushions and items were scattered around the house and they left cupboards open and the lights were all left on.
“A man who was passing through Derrylin at the time saw the lights on and thought it was quite strange so he turned and the saw the front door open and went inside and realised the place was a mess.
“There was a window open at the back so he thinks he distracted them and they escaped out the back.
Fr McKiernan believes that homes in the area, including Canon McNamara’s, were being watched in the lead up to the robberies and was targeted because there had been little activity in the house.
He continued: “I think the same people have been keeping an eye out for empty homes. Two weeks ago a family in Derrylin went to Sunday mass but the mother decided she would stay behind, which was unusual for them, and about five minutes later a van pulled up round the back of the house.
“She went out to them and asked them what they wanted but they said something about machinery and drove off. Whoever they are have been keeping an eye on these homes.”
Sinn Fein Erne west councillor Barry Doherty also appealed to locals to take extra precautions and to remain vigilant following the spate of burglaries and thefts.
Items have been stolen from the front of a house, a car has been broken into and a number of burglaries have recently been committed in the area.
Councillor Doherty said: “Unfortunately these sorts of crimes are becoming a more frequent occurrence and long gone are the days when we could leave our front doors open safe in the knowledge that everything would be in place when we returned.
“Our community is a tight and strong one and we do already look out for each other, so I would appeal to this basic goodness and ask that not only do each of us take the necessary sensible precautions such as ensuring sheds and outhouses are locked and if possible lighted, but also that we remain vigilant and report any strange activity to the relevant authorities.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition