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Thieves wreck Christmas for live-alone OAP

Olive McAlea at her Cedar Avenue home after the 81 year old had xmas stolen from her Olive McAlea at her Cedar Avenue home after the 81 year old had xmas stolen from her
By Conor McParland

A NORTH Belfast pensioner has been left distraught after Christmas presents she’d bought for friends and family were stolen during a daytime burglary.
81-year-old Olive McAlea was asleep in the living room of her Cedar Avenue home on Monday afternoon when she awoke to find heartless thieves had stolen the gifts from an upstairs bedroom. The intruders also took clothes from the house.
Olive, who live alone after losing a son earlier this year, is struggling to come to terms with the burglary.
Speaking to the North Belfast News in her home Olive said: “I was out for lunch with my daughter and my grandson on Monday afternoon. I came back and said my prayers – the Rosary and the Divine Mercy.
“I must have dozed off and woke up a short time later at about 5pm. I didn’t hear anything at all.
“I noticed the front door was lying open, which I was thought was strange because my daughter is so careful about everything – she wouldn’t have left it open.
“I went upstairs and a table drawer was open. I lost a son in June and his bedroom door was lying wide open. I had been using his room to put Christmas presents in.
“All the presents were away. Police told me they are treating it as a crime against the elderly.
“They were all presents for my family and friends, everything from clothes for my grandsons, Molten Brown toiletries and Thorntons chocolates.”
Olive says she would have confronted the intruders if she’d been awake.
“This is the first time anything like this has happened to me.
“I have hardly slept. I just can’t cope with what happened. It’s left me feeling very tearful.
“I would have faced up to them. If they had have knocked the door and asked for money, I am the type of person that would have given it to them.
“My door would always have been open for anyone, but now I feel I have to lock myself in.”
Detectives have appealed for information about the burglary.
Detective Sergeant Mason said,: “Some time between 2.30pm and 4.45pm on Monday, 4 December the house was entered and clothes and Christmas presents were stolen.
“This was a heartless crime where someone has entered a house and stole Christmas presents and belongings.
“I would ask that everyone considers their home security and appeal to anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area to contact detectives at Musgrave Criminal Investigation Branch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1082 04/12/17.
“Alternatively, information can also be provided by the public to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

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