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Home ransacked as criminals target family

AN AGHYARAN man who sustained a vicious stab wound during a robbery in  2014, has once again fallen victim to criminals.

Paddy Hans, who lives with his wife Marian on the Aghyaran Road, is  this week still counting the cost after the family home was ransacked  during a break-in on Friday of last week.

It’s the second time in just under five years that the family has been  targeted after Paddy was attacked during a robbery of his business in  Castlederg. Mr Hans required 17 stitches after a man entered his  Bureau De Change business and demanded money.

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This latest incident has raised fears that a cross-border gang is  targeting properties in West Tyrone.

Speaking to the Strabane Chronicle, Marian Hans, said very valuable  items had been taken, including designer luggage, handbags, jewellery  and a sum of money.

“They gained entry through the back door and just completely ransacked  the whole house. Every single room was targeted, cupboards and drawers  opened and personal items strewn everywhere,” she said.

“When something like this happens, it affects not just the family  directly involved but the whole community. People are living in fear  that their homes could be targeted as well.

“We have to question the ratio of convictions to the number of break-ins that are taking place. At the moment there is a lot of concern  that those carrying out these burglaries see themselves as above the  law and effectively untouchable due to the apparent low number of  convictions.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor, Kieran McGuire is urging residents to be  ‘ultra-vigilant’.

“Local people are very angry that this family, who contribute so much  to the local community, have been targeted by what can only be  described as low-life parasites preying on the community,” he said.

“I have since learned that an unsuccessful attempt was made to break-in to another home in the area and, along with other reports of break-ins and attempted break-ins, it is clear that we are currently dealing  with at least one organised gang of burglars.”

The PSNI confirmed that they are dealing with a report of a burglary  at a house on the Aghyaran Road area on Friday December 14 in which a  quantity of jewellery was stolen.

They have appealed for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in  the area or anyone with information to contact officers in Strabane.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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