A BURGLARY blitz in which three businesses in Pomeroy were completely cleaned out in a matter of hours, is believed to be the work of a professional gang with local knowledge.
A white van forced its way onto the premises of the Rowan Tree Centre in the village at around 2.30am on Friday. At least two men then proceeded to break in to, and ransack, the three locally-owned small businesses, which included a car wash, a candle shop and a tyre repair business. An entire store of tyres were loaded into the large van, along with high value power tools and every hand-made candle from the Sass and Boho store.
The devastation and anger caused by the break-in was laid bare in a social post by the owner of Sass and Boho – Laura McNamee.
“Every single item of stock, every single candle that we make by hand has been stolen,” she said.
“A business’ worst nightmare. I have worked so hard to build my business up for some scumbags to come in overnight and take it all from me, just like that. If anyone has any information please, please get in touch.”
She added, “And please can everyone keep an eye out for people trying to sell my candles. Two other premises at each side of mine were also cleaned out, one who had just started his business only a month ago, they took everything. Absolutely heartbreaking.”
Brian Corrigan who is the vice chair of the Pomeroy Developments Projects which set up the Rowan Tree Centre and the business units, was adamant that those responsible had knowledge of their targets.
“We feel there had to be local knowledge involved in this, as they used a back path to gain access and very few people would even be aware of it,” he told the Tyrone Herald.
“This is a real blow to these three businesses which are all locally owned and who are creating employment in the local area. It has left them severely upset, they have been completely cleaned out, so they will have to start from scratch.
“The police have been here all day and they are still examining the CCTV. There were at least two men and probably more of them as they took a serious amount of stock, thousands of pounds of stuff all loaded into the van.”
Mr Corrigan said he was confident that all the three firms will bounce back. “We want anyone who has the slightest bit of information to come forward,” he added.
Cllr Cathal Mallaghan, who is a former board member of the Pomeroy Development Projects expressed his anger and also urged the community to assist in any way they can with the investigation.
“It’s totally unacceptable that hard-working people, who are creating jobs in the area, should be burgled. I know how much effort they have been putting into their businesses and I hope that they can recover from this,” he said.
“It is essential that any witnesses or anyone who knows anything about it, comes forward.”
Cllr Mallaghan said the overnight thefts had heightened community fears over serious crime.
In March of this year, the family-owned Connolly’s Service Station, was robbed. A female employee behind the counter was left deeply shaken when the male, wearing a boiler suit and gloves, entered the shop and instructed her to place cash in a bag before making off.
And just a few weeks earlier, Doyle’s Vivo in Creggan was similarly robbed by a masked man.