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Suspicious death in north Belfast will cause shock and alarm

Confirmation that police are investigating a burglary link to the suspicious death of a 64-year-old woman in north Belfast will cause a deep sense of shock and concern.

The body of Mrs May Stevens, a mother of two, was found at her home in Lismoyne Park, off North Circular Road, shortly after 3am on Sunday.

According to the PSNI, officers went to her home after her car was spotted and failed to stop.

Detectives believe the car had been stolen between 1.30am and 2am and was later found abandoned in Glenbank Place around 6.45am, where two men were seen walking away from the vehicle towards the Crumlin Road.

As part of the investigation, police are also looking at two other attempted burglaries in the area, including one in the street where Mrs Stevens lived.

The death of this former teacher at Boys' Model School, who was looking forward to becoming a grandmother, is an absolute tragedy for her devastated family.

If it also transpires that her death was connected to a break in at her home then it will once again heighten fears among householders following the recent spate of crimes involving older residents.

Last month retired teacher Robert Flowerday was found dead at his home in Crumlin, Co Antrim and a 33-year-old man was later charged with his murder.

And an 83-year-old woman was critically injured while trying to escape burglars at her home in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone.

It is essential the police have the full support of the public in tackling serious crime which causes widespread anxiety and alarm.

It is also vital that witnesses come forward at the earliest opportunity to help officers apprehend those responsible.

In that regard, the PSNI should be enlisting the help of the public, not refusing to release even basic information for 36 hours after a car was stolen and the body of a woman found.

People understand there are limits during an investigation but we are seeing a lack of openness about serious crime that does nothing to reassure the public.

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