CROSSBORDER criminals are believed to be to blame for the recent spate of attacks on cars parked at car parks outside local churches and tourist hotspots.
Councillor John Coyle condemned the actions of these thieves, and is disappointed that it is happening in his local area of Belleek.
“We need to catch these people in the act and the Police have said that they are doing everything they can to stop this. I have heard that it is southern registration cars that are coming over the border and into Belleek. It is detrimental to our tourist industry as Castle Caldwell is a recreational facility and whatever religious denomination you are, it is a disgrace that vehicles are not safe when you are in saying your prayers.
The recent incidents have been occurring for the past year, and have got increasingly worse. Car owners using carparks in rural areas have arrived back to their vehicles to find their windows smashed and belongings gone.
“Recently, there was a lady walking at Castle Caldwell, and her car was broken into and a rucksack was stolen. I have reported this to the Police, and the Garda in Ballyshannon and I am sick of this happening in a quiet rural area of West Fermanagh.”
“I have asked the council to place signs to make the public aware of what is happening. I have also decided to start a neighbourhood watch – it needs to be in operation throughout the weekend and at times when these incidents are occurring,” added Cllr Coyle.
The thefts in the Belleek area were discussed at a Fermanagh and Omagh Community Safety Partnership meeting held in Omagh last week.
Superintendent Jane Humphries expressed frustration with smash and grab thefts from vehicles where opportunist thieves are stealing visible items left in cars.
Most recently a handbag was stolen from a car outside a church last Sunday, while a beautician had over £2,000 of products stolen in a ‘smash and grab’ recently.
“It is so frustrating,” said the local superintendent.
“We need help to get the message across not to leave any valuables in your vehicle. These opportunistic thefts are avoidable but hard to detect.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Posted: 5:32 pm November 6, 2016