An eagle-eyed member of the public has been praised for helping police apprehend two teenagers suspected of carrying out “multiple burglaries” in Banbridge.
Local PSNI E Section officers arrested the two males, aged 17 and 14, on Saturday night (October 15).
“They were arrested after a sharp eyed member of the public called us,” a PSNI Banbridge spokesperson posted on Facebook. “That set in motion a range of things; E Section Banbridge started rolling towards the scene, Police Dog Dino sprung into action, and the plane was launched.
“Maybe the boys hadn’t heard of thermal imaging. Maybe they didn’t realise that Dino will out run anyone, anywhere, any day. Maybe they didn’t realise that running from E Section only means you go to the cells sweaty and tired. Whatever the reason, they ran. Well, they tried to. A big shout out to our Air Support Unit who coordinated the search from above. Great job guys!”
The posted added: “This wouldn’t have happened if neighbours hadn’t been looking out for each other and raised the alarm. Thanks to them, we’ve now got two in custody for multiple burglaries and a breach of court bail.”
Investigating officers believe the two youths were travelling in a black-coloured Honda Civic, which has since been seized as part of the investigation.
They have appealed for residents of the Willow Grove and Rowanvale areas of Banbridge who may have noticed the teenagers or the car at any stage on Saturday night to call detectives at Lurgan Station on 101 quoting reference 1158 of 15/10/16.
“This was another prime example of team work getting results, all starting with you lifting the phone. Keep doing it, and we, together, will keep getting results,” the post concluded.
A PSNI spokesman confirmed that the 17-year-old was charged with three counts of burglary with intent to steal and was due to appear at Newry Magistrates Court on Monday, October 17.
The 14-year-old boy was questioned and later released pending reports.
Local political representatives have praised the vigilant resident and police officers for their swift actions which led to the arrests.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson said: “I want to pay special thanks to the local resident who contacted the PSNI to report suspicious activity. It is when a neighbourhood works together like this that crime levels drop dramatically.
“To have your home broken into is such a personal violation and victims rarely overcome the impact that it has on their lives. On the other hand, to live in a community that looks out and supports each other is a huge comfort.
“Neighbourhood Watch schemes are proving successful and as we enter in the autumn season with dark evenings looming we must be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
“Well done to the PSNI for their quick response and successful arrests.”
Ulster Unionist Councillor Glenn Barr also congratulated the “vigilant member of the public, the PSNI and Dino the police dog for last weekend’s arrests.”
“There have been several burglaries of late and I am asking people to remain vigilant and to look out for their neighbours. Please report anything suspicious to the PSNI on 101,” he added.