A community is reeling after the latest in a series of high profile thefts saw two pick-up trucks stolen overnight on Monday.
Two Volkswagen Amarok vehicles were stolen overnight from Markethill with registrations NXZ1213 and FXZ7507.
Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin has slammed those responsible for the theft of three pick-ups within a mile and a half radius.
Mr Irwin said police are fully aware of the incidents which happened on the Markethill Road and Mullurg Road and believe an organised crime gang are responsible or a series of thefts.
“I am aware that a Ford Ranger was taken from a farm on the Markethill Road Portadown in recent weeks and also two VW Amorak pickups were taken from a farm on Mullurg Road last night which is very concerning for the owners of these vehicles,” said Mr Irwin.
“I understand that in another location in the district a BMW jeep was abandoned with the occupants fleeing, which may provide an important lead for PSNI teams to follow.
“Rural crime continues to be real concern in our district and these recent thefts only add to the concern being generated locally amongst the farming community.
“It is understandably alarming that an organised crime gang can move around the area and target farm yards in this manner.”
He concluded: “I would appeal to everyone to be extra alert especially as we move into the darker evenings and ensure all reasonable steps are taken to secure vehicles and machinery.
“I would also appeal to the public to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious vehicles or activity immediately to the PSNI. It is important that the PSNI apprehend those behind this crime spree and put them before the courts.”
Please contact Police on 101, quoting reference 76 of 15/10/19, if you spot either of these.
As ever, with the nights drawing in, please remember to keep all property safe and secure.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter here.