Police are investigating following a burglary on the Hilltown Road in Kilcoo when three pensioners were held hostage by three men.
The burglars locked the three elderly people in a downstairs bedroom while they ransacked the house. Two of the female pensioners were in their eighties and the man was in his late seventies. They were unharmed but very shaken.
A police spokesman said: “Detectives are appealing for witnesses following the burglary in the Hilltown Road area of Kilcoo on Saturday 2 May.
“It was reported that sometime between 9.40pm and 10.40pm three males had forced their way into a house in the area. They locked the three elderly occupants in a downstairs bedroom before ransacking the property. It is not yet known of anything has been stolen. The elderly occupants, two women aged in their 90’s and a man aged in his 80’s, were not injured but left shaken by their ordeal.”
“Detective Constable David Skillen is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who may be able to assist the investigation in any other way to contact Detectives in Ardmore Police Station on the non-emergency number 101. If someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MLA commented on Saturday’s attack on the home of three pensioners in Kilcoo. He said the issue was discussed today in Castlewellan when he met his Stormont colleague, Sinn Féin’s DARD MInister Michelle O’Neill.
He said: “Crimes like this, on people living in isolated rural areas, sends shockwaves through the community and leaves the elderly fearful for their safety.”
South Down Sinn Féin Westminster election candidate Mr. Hazzard along with Newry Mourne and Down District Councillor Willie Clarke called at their home this afternoon to offer help and support at this very difficult time.
“The people are traumatised following the attack. They already require several daily visits by carers. The people of Kilcoo will no doubt help them through this ordeal.
“In the meantime we must do all in our power to ensure such crimes don’t go unpunished. The criminals will do this again, most likely in another area, until they are brought to justice. We have to continue to check on our neighbours, particularly if we notice any unusual activity around their homes. “
“I have been assured that the police are doing all they can to bring the perpetrators to justice. “
And Margaret Ritchie, SDLP candidate in the Westminster election, said: “Following the cowardly attack on Kilcoo residents on Saturday night, I was deeply distressed to learn that two women in their 90’s and a man in his 80’s were subjected to a difficult traumatic ordeal after a three man gang forced their way into their home on the Hilltown Road.
“I offer my deepest sympathies, empathy and support to these elderly residents who I understand are now recovering from this incident. There is a strong community social family network in Kilcoo which will come together to support these elderly residents and to ensure their protection.
“I would urge anybody with information concerning this heinous crime to ensure that it is passed onto the Police so that those responsible can be made accountable – that is the role of community policing – the community and PSNI working together”.