AN Omagh family faced an anxious wait after burglars made off with passports when their house was ransacked from top to bottom on Christmas Eve.
Noleen Devlin said the Gortin Road family were desperately hoping to receive their emergency passports ahead of a 4.30pm flight to Boston this afternoon.
The home invaders made off with jewellery and other personal items including a banjo and fiddle, but the most dispiriting thing of all that was the thieves stole a house safe which contained family passports.
Mrs Devlin said, “There’s still a bit of hope for us. We have an appointment booked to see if we can get our emergency passports.
“We’re still in a bit of a twilight zone because of our youngest son Shea.
“They don’t normally do emergency passports for under 16s, but we have our fingers crossed that some sort of allowance will be made.
“We’d been looking forward to the trip – it was the kids’ Christmas present.
“On Christmas Day we had to say that your present was a trip to Boston, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to now.”
Mrs Devlin, who has been bowled over by the support from the local community, says that the family returned home on Monday to find that the house had been raided – and they were left “shell-shocked” by the incident throughout Christmas Day.
“We weren’t allowed to clean the house until the police came that night. The forensic team came on Christmas Day and we were confined to the sitting room.
“I normally go to Mass and my father-in-law’s grave on Christmas Day but we were walking around shell-shocked.”
Enquiries are ongoing and the police are appealing for information in relation to the callous crime.
Sergeant Clarke said, “Sometime between 3.30pm and 9.30pm on Christmas Eve, it was reported that entry was gained to a house in the area.
“It is believed that a number of items were taken during the incident and a number of rooms had been ransacked.
“Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone with information to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1181 24/12/18.
“Alternatively, information can be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100 percent anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”