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Two men in custody following aggravated burglary in south Belfast

Two men aged 25 and 30 were last night in police custody after a laptop, mobile phone and a purse were stolen during an aggravated burglary in south Belfast
Marie Louise McConville

TWO men aged 25 and 30 were in police custody last night after a laptop, mobile phone and a purse were stolen during an aggravated burglary in south Belfast.

Three women, one man and two children were at the house in Stranmillis Gardens when two masked men gained entry to the property at around 2.10am yesterday.

When the intruders - who had armed themselves with knives taken from the kitchen of the house - were confronted by one of the female occupants, they fled with a number of items including a laptop, mobile phone and a purse.

Detective Sergeant Philip McCullagh said: "Police subsequently stopped two men nearby who matched the description given by the occupant and a number of items were recovered.

"Two men aged 25 and 30 were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including aggravated burglary and assault on police and are currently in custody helping police with their enquiries".

The incident came less than 48 hours after another house in the Stranmillis area was targeted by members of a masked gang.

At around 7.20pm on Tuesday, three masked men - one of whom was armed with a knife - gained entry to a house at Cricklewood Park.

Detective Inspector Natalie McNally said: "It's understood that the male occupant, who was the only person in the house at the time, was threatened by one of the males but was not injured during the ordeal. All three males subsequently fled empty handed".

When asked if police were investigating a link between the incidents, a PSNI spokesman said: "Police are unable to confirm anything further at this time".

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