Detectives investigating the report of an aggravated burglary in the Frosses Road area of Ballymoney yesterday evening (Wednesday, 16th January) are appealing for information.
Detective Sergeant Wallace said: “It was reported to us shortly after 7:10pm that an intruder had entered a house.
“When the suspect was disturbed by the occupant, who is aged in his 70s, the intruder attacked him by spraying him in the face with some type of spray from a can.
“The suspect is described as ‘young’, possibly aged in his 20s, around 6’ tall and of average build with dark hair. After he attacked the occupant the suspect fled, empty-handed.
“The victim was treated at the scene for stinging to his eyes.
“This must have been a frightening experience for this man – to have been attacked in his own home – somewhere he has every right, and where he deserves to feel safe.
“I am appealing to anyone who was in the area last night and saw any suspicious activity, or any strange vehicles in the area, to get in touch with us. Or, if you know anything you believe would help us solve this despicable crime, call detectives in Coleraine on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1042 of 16/01/19.”
Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.
Detective Sergeant Wallace added: “We know when a person’s home or property has been targeted by burglars it can be an extremely traumatising experience for victims and their families.
“One burglary is one too many, especially for the person whose property has been violated.
“However, I want to reassure people that domestic burglary is a priority for us and we are doing everything we can to identify criminals involved 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. 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.”
If you would like further advice on home security you can contact your local Crime Prevention Officer on 101.
Report any suspicious activity/concerns to 101 and in the case of an emergency please call 999.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor Darryl Wilson said “I am deeply shocked to learn that a man in his 70s was subject to an aggravated burglary yesterday on the Frosses Road in Ballymoney.
An attack on an elderly person within their own home can only be described as a disgusting act.
We all have a duty to assist the PSNI in bringing those responsible to justice, I would urge members of the public who may have been in the area at the time to contact the psni if they noticed any suspicious behaviour or indeed behaviour that they may feel was linked to this cowardly attack”.