Local politicians have appealed to members of the public to help police catch four men who terrorised a family during an aggravated burglary in the Ballycraigy Road area of Glengormley.
At around 1.20am on Tuesday, April 8, it was reported that four masked men approached a man and a woman with two young children who were entering a house in Fernridge Road. The men threatened the family with a suspected firearm and forced them to lie on the kitchen floor.
The man and woman were taken upstairs and ordered to hand over any valuables in their possession. The man was struck several times on the legs with a hammer during the incident.
The family were tied up and taken to a bathroom in the house and barricaded in as the four males ransacked the house. It is believed that a sum of money, jewellery and a car were taken during the incident.
The man was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening. The woman and two children whilst unhurt were left deeply shocked.
Condemning the incident, Cllr Noreen McClelland said: “This must have been an absolutely terrifying ordeal for this family who were subjected to this horrific attack. People are shocked at hearing something as appalling as this could happen in their community. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
South Antrim MLA Pam Cameron added: “Whilst all crime of this nature is unacceptable, the fact that this gang have targeted children makes it even more appalling and shows the cowardly nature of those who carried it out. These criminals deserve nothing but our condemnation and contempt, they have no place in a civilised society and I hope the PSNI will quickly apprehend those responsible. The sooner they are off our streets the better.”
Cllr McClelland and Mrs Cameron both urged the local community to help the police bring the gang to justice.
Investigating officers have appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact Newtownabbey CID on the new non-emergency number, 101, or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.