1. ITV Report

Break-in by gang armed with pitchfork ‘horrific ordeal’

Police are investigating the aggravated burglary in Castlederg, Co Tyrone. Credit: Presseye

Police say three people in their 60s and 70s have suffered a “horrific ordeal” in which three masked men armed with a pitchfork and metal poles broke into their Castlederg home.

The incident happened in the Corgary Road area at about 9.45pm on Tuesday, leaving the occupants – two men and a woman – shaken.

Both men were forced to lie on the floor while one of the gang stood over them with a metal pole.

They managed to take the pole off the masked man, who then fled with his two accomplices, but one of the occupants sustained minor injuries to his leg and face.

A sum of money and three mobile phones were reported stolen.

Please report any suspicious activity you see in your area, whether it’s a strange vehicle or people in the area.

Every piece of information is vital as it could be the key to catching the perpetrators.

– PSNI Detective Sergeant Jack

PSNI Detective Sergeant Jack said: “This must have been a horrific ordeal for the victims.

“This happened late last night in their home - somewhere they deserve to feel safe - and they have understandably been left shaken.”

Police are appealing for anyone who saw suspicious activity or vehicles in the area, or who is offered mobile phones for sale in suspicious circumstances, to contact them.

Two of the suspects are described as being of skinny build and one of heavy build.

DS Jack added: “We know when a person’s home or property has been targeted, it can be an extremely traumatising experience for victims and their families.

“I want to reassure the public we are doing everything we can to identify criminals involved in this type of crime and bring them to justice - but we also need the public’s help, so we are appealing to people to watch out for their neighbours."

Anyone with information can call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.