A family-owned Bessbrook business has been broken into overnight and robbed and ransacked.
The PSNI is investigating the latest incident in the Co Armagh village as a local councillor described it as “deeply concerning”.
Fews area Sinn Féin Cllr Roisin Mulgrew has said that the incident, where Griffiths Furniture store was broken into, robbed and vandalised had further angered the local community.
“The attack on this locally owned business premises, which has served people and communities for generations, can only be described as despicable, and those engaged in this type of criminal activity need to be caught and face the full rigours of the law.
“Anyone with information should pass it immediately to the PSNI.”
The councillor said fears of the rising anti-social behaviour and criminal activity had been aired at a recent community safety public meeting she had facilitated in Bessbrook.
Cllr Mulgrew added: “The general feeling from those present was that a higher profile, targeted and more robust policy in regards to anti-social and criminal activity in Bessbrook needs to be adopted by the PSNI and all agrncies concerned with community safety and the health and wellbeing of communities.”
She said she would be meeting with Community Safety Officers to discuss the most recent incident and their plans to allay the local community’s fears.
The Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Newry and Armagh, Danny Kennedy MLA, has condemned the burglary, adding: “I appeal for anyone with any information on the incident to assist with PSNI enquiries to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and made amenable to the courts.
“I am increasingly concerned at the level of petty crime and anti-social behaviour in the Bessbrook area.I’ll be making strong representations to the PSNI to provide additional resources in the area.
“I called at the premises on Sunday and spoke with senior directors and employees as they were attempting to restore the property following the break-in.
“The business is a long established and well respected retail outlet in Bessbrook and such an incident is intolerable, given the already challenging economic conditions impacting on local businesses.”
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