Northern Ireland news

Family appeals for help after jewellery stolen as grandmother underwent surgery

Among the jewellery stolen was Christine McCartney's engagement ring and a chain given to her by her late husband. Picture by Deborah McCartney

THE family of a Co Derry pensioner have appealed for help in recovering jewellery stolen from her home as she underwent brain surgery.

Christina McLaughlin (78) was in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast when thieves broke into her house in Shanreagh Park in Limavady.

Among the items taken was her engagement ring, a chain from her late husband, and rings given to her by her daughter, who died suddenly in April last year.

It is believed thieves used a crowbar to enter the house some time between January 26 and 31.

Mrs McCartney's grand-daughter Deborah appealed on Facebook for help in trying to find the jewellery.

"Our lovely Nana was in the RVH hospital this week having an operation and yesterday some absolute scumbag has broken into her house and has stolen all of her gold jewellery - some of which she has had for over 50 years. The sentimental value of these items is priceless," she said.

"They took nine rings and a gold cross and chain which my Granda bought her the day they got engaged.

"It seems pretty impossible to try and get these items back but we have to try so if you could please share this post? Someone might see one of the rings on ebay etc."

She added: "Also please use this as a warning to remind you and your elderly or vulnerable relatives in the Limavady area to take caution because there are people out there who could be targeting their homes".

Sinn Féin assembly member Caoimhe Archibald said it was "a disgusting incident and the community in Limavady are genuinely shocked".

"Elderly people should feel safe and secure in their homes and I would remind everyone of the need to be extra vigilant at this time."

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