Page last updated at 08:22 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Masked gang targets elderly man


A gang of up to five masked men have targeted the home of an 86-year-old man in the latest of a spate of burglaries against the elderly.

They forced their way into his house at Mountnorris, County Armagh, on Monday at about 2115 GMT.

One held the man down on a bed while the others took money.

In Portadown, burglars targeted pensioners' homes on Sunday while they were at church. Police believe the six robberies in the town were linked.

The thieves broke in through the back of the houses which were empty on Sunday.

The home of a 96-year-old man was among those ransacked.

"We are being targeted and watched. We are all easy targets. We were away to church. They know the times when we are out," said Tommy Archer.

"Jewellery was stolen. There was a watch which was got for my 80th birthday. We found the house in a state of chaos," he said.

Speaking about the latest attack in Armagh, Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy said the burglars were "vile" and "the lowest of the low".

Five elderly women and one man were also targeted in burglaries across Northern Ireland over the weekend.

Charity money

A 77-year-old woman from Lisburn was bruised after burglars demanding drugs and money arrived at her Windsor Avenue home on Friday.

One grabbed her and covered her mouth. They stole four charity boxes containing just £30.

They smashed her telephone to stop her calling for help.

Also on Friday, a woman in her eighties had cash stolen after a burglar broken in through a window at her Dromore home.

On Saturday, a man in his eighties was held down by a gang as they stole his wallet in Drumnakilly, Omagh.

Later that day, Maisie Chapman, 82, fended off burglars at her east Belfast home.

Close by, short time later, an 83-year-old woman was knocked to the ground in Castlereagh. The contents of her bag and her bank cards were taken.

On Sunday, a woman in her seventies was punched to the ground at North Road in east Belfast. A thief tried to steal her bag but she was helped by a passing motorist.

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