Fam­ily’s ter­ror dur­ing late-night break-in at­tempt

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

A YOUNG Bal­li­na­clash fam­ily ex­pe­ri­enced a ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal as armed rob­bers at­tempted to break into their home last week.

A man was struck a num­ber of times and had a pick-axe flung at him through a door win­dow dur­ing the in­ci­dent. It is also sus­pected that one of the raiders may have been car­ry­ing a fire-arm or hand-gun.

Gar­daí are ad­vis­ing res­i­dents of ru­ral ar­eas to re­main vig­i­lant over the com­ing weeks due to the vi­cious­ness of the at­tempted break-in and the vi­o­lence that was used.

The oc­cu­pants of the home, which in­cluded a young child, were wo­ken up at 2.35 a.m. on Thurs­day morn­ing by their dog bark­ing.

The man got up to check on the com­mo­tion and no­ticed an­other man in the back­yard with a flash­light.

Af­ter notic­ing the res­i­dent, the raider threw a pick-axe he was hold­ing through the glass pane in a door, smash­ing the glass and just nar­rowly miss­ing the man in­side.

The res­i­dent told his wife to lock her­self and their son in­side the main bed­room as he went out­side to con­front the per­son who threw the pick-axe at him.

A sec­ond man was then spot­ted at­tempt­ing to break into a ve­hi­cle parked in the drive­way.

A scuf­fle en­sued and the res­i­dent was pinned to the ground and struck on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions. He warned both raiders that the gar­daí had been con­tacted and were on their way. At this stage he thought one of the men was car­ry­ing a gun, though he couldn’t be cer­tain.

The two tres­passers fled and jumped into a ve­hi­cle parked on the road. They were last seen trav­el­ling at speed to­wards Bal­li­na­clash vil­lage.

The res­i­dent at­tempted to fol­low them in his ve­hi­cle but found that the raiders had pad­locked the front gate to pre­vent him from fol­low­ing them.

The scene was sealed off by the gar­daí and tech­ni­cally ex­am­ined. The pick-axe was also re­tained for ev­i­dence and fin­ger prints.

A garda spokesper­son said the raiders ap­peared to have been well-pre­pared and will­ing to use force or vi­o­lence if deemed nec­es­sary.

‘This was a ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the fam­ily, es­pe­cially at such a late time in a very ru­ral part of Co Wick­low,’ said the spokesper­son.

‘We are still check­ing CCTV footage and look­ing for wit­nesses who may have no­ticed any­thing. If there are any neigh­bours who may have in­for­ma­tion then they should con­tact the gar­daí. We would also warn peo­ple to en­sure that their home is prop­erly se­cured at night and dur­ing the morn­ing time, in­clud­ing CCTV, alarms and dogs.

‘The peo­ple in­volved in this in­ci­dent were more than will­ing to re­sort to vi­o­lence, which is al­ways a ma­jor con­cern,’ the spokesper­son said.

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