31/03/2006

Three arrested in connection with County Down robberies

Three men have been arrested following a spate of crimes in County Down.

In the first incident, three men, dressed in grey hooded tops and baseball caps entered a house in Castlewellan at around 11.30pm last night.

One of the men held a female occupant down while the others demanded her car keys. They then made off in the woman's Volvo car.

The vehicle was later reported to police in Belfast at around 12.30am, after it drove from a service station in the Kennedy Way area without paying for petrol.

Some time later, at around 3.20am, a member of the public called police to report three men trying to break into a car in Hillcrest Drive in Ballynahinch.

Around ten minutes later, at 3.30am, police received reports of a burglary at a menswear store in Main Street, Castlewellan.

Around £2,700 worth of jeans were stolen from the shop, and a vehicle, matching the description of the Volvo was seen speeding off into the direction of Downpatrick.

Police have confirmed that they stopped the car close to the Carryduff roundabout shortly after 4am, where they subsequently arrested three men, aged 24, 25 and 30.

Police said stolen jeans were recovered from the car.

Detectives have revealed that there may also have been two other men involved and have appealed for anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious or who may have any information relating to the robberies to contact them on 02844 615011 or 0845 600 8000. Alternatively, police can be contacted anonymously on the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.

(EF/SP)

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