Northern Ireland

Mullabrack: Thieves target Christmas carol service

Thieves who broke into cars outside a church where a primary school Christmas carol service was taking place have caused disgust, a councillor has said.

Five cars were broken into outside Mullabrack church, near Markethill, County Armagh, on Thursday night.

Police said a number of items were stolen from three of the vehicles between 18:.45 and 20:45 GMT.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Speers said: "It is abhorrent that anyone could stoop so low."

He told BBC Radio Ulster: "It's bad at any time, but certainly as we approach Christmas, and the spirit of Christmas, it's incredible that such a thing should happen."

The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Gareth Keating, described it as "a vile and dastardly act".

Mr Keating, from Sinn Féin, said it was an attack on the "entire community".

A PSNI spokesman advised the public not to leave valuables in view inside cars.

"Please always lock handbags, cameras, phones and other valuables in the boot or take them out of the car altogether.

"Thieves can often be opportunist and this simple crime prevention tip can deny them opportunities to steal," he added.