Police ‘missed catching shop thieves by minutes’

BURGLARS who broke into a shop in Ballinamallard’s main street got away just minutes before the police arrived, it is believed.
Now detectives investigating a burglary at the Spar shop and filling station in the village are appealing for information.
The culprits broke in around 2am on Monday morning and a considerable amount of damage was caused inside.
The shop owner Lexie Beatty said there was quite a bit of damage done with phone lines and electric cables, the office safe and the hot food counter damaged.
“There wasn’t much in the till which is emptied every night but there was quite a bit of damage done to the shop,” he said.
“We were clearing up all day Monday but were able to open to the public again by lunchtime,” he added. “We’re hoping to get back to full commission as quickly as possible.”
Paying tribute to the quick police response he said, “they were there very quickly and I believe the thieves were very lucky to get away.”
Former MP and local resident Tom Elliott went to speak to the owner as soon as he heard the news.
“Obviously he is annoyed that people would go to such lengths to break in. They seemed to steal some materials, but I don’t think any money was taken. The biggest headache for the owner is the damage that was caused. It will take a time to get things back to normal. It is terrible that people would do this.
“Shop keepers are trying to make an honest living and keep other people in work. They provide an important service to the community in very difficult times and then they are hit by people who just want to steal and thieve from them.
Ulster Unionist councillor Diana Armstrong roundly condemned the robbery and destruction at the store.
“The contribution to local community life by village supermarkets, such as Beatty’s, has never before been so valued as now during the Covid-19 pandemic where meals are cooked and distributed to those in need and other unheralded acts of kindness are carried out.
“So for individuals to stoop this low is utterly disgraceful! I urge anyone with information on this robbery to come forward and think of their community at this time of pandemic crisis, and furthermore to pass details on to the PSNI or any local representative.”




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