A LISBURN family, including three children, were held at gunpoint in their home overnight before their father was taken to the Next shop in Belfast and forced to hand over tens of thousands of pounds. This is the second local family to be held hostage over the Christmas period and a worrying growing problem for businessmen and their families. In the latest attack armed men entered their Lagmore home around 9pm on Sunday.
They demanded the three children, one aged 15 and two aged eight-years-old, be put into their bedrooms. The parents were held in another part of the house.
At 6.45am on Monday the father was forced to go to his work at Next and hand over a sum of cash, which is believed to total less than £50,000.
The mother, father and three children were then freed. Although they were not physically harmed during the incident, they were very upset by their ordeal.
Police have appealed for information on a car which was used in the robbery. A silver Mitsubishi Charisma was taken from the family's home. It bears the registration number NCZ 7782. Anyone who saw suspicious activity in the Lagmore area of Lisburn on Sunday night, or saw the Mitsubishi Charisma in the area of Donegal Place and Royal Avenue after 7am on Monday, is asked to call 0845 600 8000 and ask for detectives at Lisburn CID.
Police have advised businesses to ensure they have proper safety measures in place for their staff and premises.
Shoppers are prevented from entering the next store in Donegal Place, Belfast after the PSNI cordoned off the on Monday morning following the robbery.