Newsagent targeted in break-in appeals to construction companies to park elsewhere

Newsagent targeted in break-in appeals to construction companies to park elsewhere

A Ballymena newsagent has appealed to construction companies to be more mindful of where their vehicles are parked overnight after criminals evaded CCTV cameras during an attempted break-in.

Eugene Diamond said the would-be burglars smashed the lock of his Broughshane Street business on Sunday night, concealed from camera surveillance by a large lorry that had been left parked in front of his shop since before the weekend.

Mr Diamond said the burglars had been unsuccessful in their bid to break into the shop, but had smashed the locking system, leaving him having to foot an estimated repair bill of up to £300. He said a nearby jewellery shop had also been targeted and its shutter ripped off.

Detectives are appealing for information following reports of two attempted burglaries in Ballymena in the early hours of Monday morning.

Detective Sergeant Peter Crothers said: “It was reported just before 3am that two males attempted to gain entry to retail premises in the Church Street area of the town.

“A roller shutter was forcibly removed from its guides during the course of the incident.

“At this stage, it is believed that the suspects failed to gain entry and left the scene, empty-handed, in a white van.

“Both suspects were described as having their faces covered.

“A second report was received shortly before 5.25am, that sometime overnight, an attempt was made to gain entry to retail premises in the Broughshane Street area.

“It was reported that damage had been caused to a shutter but, at this stage, it is believed that entry was not gained and nothing was taken.”

Mr Diamond said he was angry this morning following the attack on his shop, posting an image on social media of the lorry parked in front of the shop.

I arrived at the shop this morning to find there had been a attempt to break in at the front of the shop. I now await the police and I have to organise a call to have the door repaired. This massive lorry parked outside gave cover for this to happen,” he said.

Speaking to Neighbourhood Retailer, Mr Diamond said he didn’t blame the machinery operators.

“This could have happened anywhere,” he said. 

But Mr Diamond said he wasn’t happy about the lorry being left in front of the shop all weekend, blocking the view of the CCTV camera.

“”That massive lorry had been sitting since Friday right outside the shop and they tried to break in under cover of those things. The shop is usually very visible to the main street, while the back is like a fortress.

“We didn’t have this problem any more since they put in the CCTV at the front there. 

“When work is being done on the street, there should be a bit more thought put into where vehicles are left.”

The PSNI said enquiries remain ongoing and appealed to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything, or who may have dashcam or other footage, to contact police on 101 quoting reference 204 25/7/22.