A 65-year-old man has been left bruised and shaken after he was beaten by a gang of robbers who lay in waiting for him to return to his Dromore home on Tuesday evening.
After dragging him around his Rowantree Road house they locked him in a bathroom and made off with a sum of cash and a Rolex watch. The pensioner, who has had previous treatment for a broken hip, was forced to climb out the window to seek help.
The victim’s son, who did not want to be named, said the perpetrators had been waiting for his father to return home before they pounced.
“When he returned just after 9 o’clock, he went straight to the bedroom and was about to get ready for bed,” he said. “At that point a man came in and kicked him and said ‘give me your money’.
“Another two men came in, dragged him to the ground and started beating him. They took a sum of Euros and a sum of pounds, a substantial amount.
“He was wearing an expensive Rolex watch and they told him to give it to them which he did. This watch had a great sentimental value to him as it was a gift from my late mother.”
The son added that the men knew there was a safe despite it being well hidden. He added: “They demanded the key to the safe and dragged him through the kitchen, continuously beating him.
“They managed to get the key but my father doesn’t use the safe and there was nothing in there.
“After subjecting him to physical abuse, they threw him into his en-suite bathroom and locked it from the outside.”
“He managed to make his way out, partially dressed, through a window. He is very unfit, he’s had a broken hip and had various major surgeries over the last few years. He managed to climb out of the window and make his way to the neighbours.
The man’s son said 17 Royal Dalton China figures had also been taken. “It’s not like these things were just chucked in a bag, this was a planned attack,” he continued. “He lives on his own, it’s a frightening experience.
“He is badly beaten and bruised but no broken bones thankfully.”
The son appealed for any information that could lead to the Rolex watch being returned, whilst police have made their own appeal for information.
“It was reported that at around 9.50pm on Tuesday evening entry was gained to the property and a sum of money and a Rolex watch was stolen,” said a police spokesman.
“We are appealing for anyone with information who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or have information about the incident to contact police in Lurgan on the non–emergency number 101 quoting reference 1453 24/10/17. Or, 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.”