A Newry jeweller’s shop is closed today amid the busy Christmas shopping period after it was broken into in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday).
Police have said the ‘ram-raid type’ incident occurred shortly after 4:30am, when a silver saloon car reversed into the shutters of the shop a number of times.
A man then exited the vehicle and pulled back the damaged shutters. Inside, he removed cash from a till and a quantity of jewellery before fleeing in the vehicle.
McWhirter The Jeweller, based on Hill Street, took to social media this morning to announce the shop would be closed today for forensics.
They said: “The most important thing was no one was hurt and they only got access to the shop floor. The office and repair department were safe so anyone who has left goods for repair please be assured they are safe.
“We will be closed today for forensics and hope to be back open as soon as possible. We will update our page later in the day.”
Local UUP councillor David Taylor described the attack as a “disgusting incident to happen to a long-established hard-working family business”.
He said: “The approach to Christmas is a crucial time for any business and it is dreadful that McWhirters premises have been violated in this way.
“I have no doubt the local community will rally around the McWhirter family and if anyone has any information that would assist police with their enquiries, please report it immediately.”
Liz Kimmins MLA added: “Shocking news that McWhirter The Jeweller was broken into last night on Hill Street a despicable act on a longstanding family run business, just weeks out from Christmas.
“I would urge anyone who may have information to contact PSNI. It is more important than ever that we support our local businesses in the run up to Christmas, especially following the impact of covid, the recent flooding and now this. This Christmas, shop local.”
A PSNI Spokesperson also commented: “Police are asking anyone with information regarding this crime, or anyone who may have captured footage in the area at around the time of the burglary, to please get in touch by calling 101, quoting reference 136 06/12/23.
“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”
Information can also be provided via the non-emergency reporting form.