Mass-goers targeted by thieves for fourth time in week
MASS-GOERS in Co Tyrone have again been targeted by thieves.
In the fourth separate report within a week, four cars were broken into during 8pm vigil Mass at St McCartan's Church in Trillick on Saturday.
Similar thefts in Aughnacloy, Carrickmore and Dromore have led one MLA to ask whether "we need a community patrol in rural Tyrone while people are at Mass".
Trillick parish priest Fr John McKenna told The Irish News the thefts happened in his Kilskeery Road car park while he was actually issuing a warning in Mass.
"During the Mass I told the parishioners about what had happened in Dromore. I asked them to make sure not to leave valuables and money in their cars," he said.
"People are disgusted that these individuals are going around taking advantage of the church."
The windows of two cars were smashed and handbags stolen while parked at St Colmcille's Church in Carrickmore during a school celebration Mass on Friday afternoon.
The previous Saturday evening evening, seven cars were broken into while they were parked in a church car park on the Omagh Road in Dromore.
Another car was broken into at a church car park on Main Street in Aughnacloy the same night.
Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff said he wanted the PSNI to state publicly if they know the identity of the gangs involved.
"It appears that they were trying to disable car alarms in Trillick, in the fourth incident at a chapel in Tyrone in a week.
"Do we have to set up some sort of community patrol in rural Tyrone while people are at Mass?
"I will also be asking David Ford an urgent question in the Assembly to see what he is doing to tackle this."
Police have appealed for information.