Detectives are appealing for information following a report of a burglary at a residential property in the Ardpatrick Gardens area of east Belfast yesterday, Friday 5th May .

Detective Sergeant McCartan said: “It was reported that around 10.30pm up to four masked men, dressed in black clothing, entered the property and searched it, before making off empty handed. The men claimed that they were paramilitaries.

“Two men, one of whom is aged in his seventies, were inside the property at the time of the incident. Neither were physically injured but they were understandably left very shaken as a result.

"Our enquiries are ongoing, and we would appeal to anyone with any information, or who may have been in the area at the time and witnessed any suspicious activity, to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 2134 of 05/05/23.”

A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

Detective Sergeant McCartan continued: "Burglars will often enter residential properties when residents are at home and search the property under the pretence of 'looking for someone' or 'looking for drugs', when in actual fact, these criminals are only searching for cash and other valuables to steal.

"We want to take this opportunity to encourage the public to report any suspicious activity because it could prove vital to our investigations. We would also urge residents to check on their neighbours.

"You can take a number of practical steps to secure your home and family. Never leave doors unlocked and do not to leave keys in an unsafe place (such as under doormats or flower pots), check who is at your door before opening and remember not to leave cash or valuable items on display.

"If you need any further advice or information, please contact us on 101 where you can speak to your local crime prevention officer."