PSNI helicopter used in search after attempted burglaries at weekend

PSNI helicopter used in search after attempted burglaries at weekend

8 January 2020

POLICE have been praised for their swift response to an incident in Killyleagh last Sunday after reports of attempted break-ins at homes in the town.

A helicopter was deployed as part of a major operation which subsequently resulted in the arrest of a 29 year-old man near Killinchy. 

Connor Martin Haughey, of Forest Street, Belfast, appeared in court in Newtownards yesterday charged with a series of offences including burglary, taking and damaging a vehicle, no insurance and possessing as an article with a blade or point in a public place.

The case was adjourned, with Haughey remanded in custody until January 16 when he is due to appear at Downpatrick Court. 

The various charges he faces are in connection with burglaries in the Saintfield and Killinchy areas. It is understood he was arrested after police received a number of reports of suspicious activity in the Ringhaddy area, near Killinchy.  

Rowallane councillor Billy Walker has praised police for their swift response to the incident and has urged people to review their home security and ensure that their front and rear doors are locked at all times.

He said a suspicious car in the Grove and Kerry estates sparked alarm last Sunday with residents calling for the police who responded swiftly, deploying a number of officers, including aerial support via the PSNI helicopter.

“I would appeal to people to ensure that their doors are locked at all times,” said Cllr Walker.

“I would also encourage people across the district to check in with their elderly neighbours and remind them to never open their doors to strangers.”

“Police were swiftly on the scene in Killyleagh last Sunday which was very reassuring for residents who very much appreciated the quick response,” he continued.

The Rowallane politician also encouraged elderly residents in particular not to open their doors to strangers. 

He said residents concerned about people calling at their homes should always be asked to show their ID accreditation for the organisation they claim to represent.

“Virtually all staff from various organisations now carry ID cards which feature a photograph of the person carrying it. The card also includes details such as their name and, in some cases, a unique serial number.

“Homeowners worried about callers to their homes should also attach a chain to the inside of their front door and always ask callers to hold up their ID card to a window or put it through the letterbox so it can be checked, without having to open the door.”

Cllr Walker encouraged all residents to never be afraid to check a caller’s ID.