An attack on a pensioner and his wife during an aggravated burglary in their Ballymoney home has been described as “extremely disturbing”.
North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey was commenting after the incident in Donaghbrook Drive on Monday night.
At approximately 9.40pm, three armed and masked males entered the house. The husband, who is in his 70s, was struck on the head by one of the assailants. He received medical treatment at hospital and has since been released.
The couple were tied to chairs with cable ties before the men fled in an unknown vehicle. A substantial sum of money was taken. The man managed to break free and release his wife who then went to a neighbour’s house.
Condemning those behind the incident, Mr Storey said: “It is extremely disturbing and worrying that a masked gang broke into a home and assaulted the owners by tying them up and then stealing substantial amounts of cash.”
Gunshots are also believed to have been heard at the time incident, which the police are investigating.
“Those responsible are creating a sense of fear and I utterly condemn their behaviour,” said Mr Storey.
“This incident was undoubtedly a frightening experience for the family involved and I unreservedly condemn this attack on a local family. It was a vile attack carried out by people who have no regard for those in the community.
“I would urge anyone with information to give all assistance to the police so that those responsible can be brought before the courts.”
Detectives in Coleraine issued an appeal for information about the crime.
“The man managed to break free and release the woman who then went to a neighbour’s house. There were also reports of shots fired coming from the Ballybrakes area at around this time and I am appealing to anyone who may have heard a sound like shots, to contact us,” said Detective Constable Brennan.
“We are also appealing to anyone that may have witnessed any suspicious activity or vehicles in the area to contact detectives at Coleraine Police Station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1298 of the 10/04/17.
“Or, alternatively 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.”