Police in Strabane are advising local shopkeepers to review their security as a protection against burglars.
Shopkeepers are encouraged not to leave significant sums of money in tills overnight and secure valuables.
Rumena McCabe, Crime Prevention Officer, said: “Make arrangements to bank money regularly, but avoid setting a pattern. Consider using a cash-in-transit service to collect it.”
Police also advise shopkeepers to remove stocks of cigarettes from display cabinets at night and put them into a secure storeroom. They believe criminal gangs are targeting shops for raids, most of which take place in the early hours of the morning.
While none has taken place in the Strabane area, police believe the gangs are highly mobile and can target different areas of the Province.
The CPO added: “Their methods are similar in each case. They force their way into shops and then steal cigarettes from display cabinets.