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