Teen arrested following spate of thefts and arson in Belfast city centre

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By Q Radio News

A teenager has been arrested following multiple thefts which took place in Belfast city centre in the early hours of this morning. 

A driver who parked on Camden Street and left the engine running while he used an ATM had his car stolen as he was withdrawing cash at around 12.15am. 

The culprit quickly made off in the direction of Botanic Avenue before abandoning the vehicle on Agincourt Avenue at the junction with Ormeau Road. 

Then at around 12.30am a restaurant on the Dublin Road was broken into, ransacked and set on fire. 

A number of items and sum of money were taken during the incident which also resulted in damage being caused to the front door and smoke damage to the interior. 

NIFRS crews attended the scene and extinguished the blaze which is being treated as deliberate. 

There were no injuries and no one was inside at the time.

Detectives are also investigating an attempted break-in at a fast food outlet in the area at the same time.  

A 15 year old boy has been arrested on suspicion of offences including aggravated vehicle taking causing injury, possession of a Class C Controlled drug and three counts of handling stolen goods.

He remains in police custody.

Inspector Pollock said: “At around 00:15am, it was reported that a driver of a vehicle had parked their car at the Camden Street area of Belfast to withdraw money from an ATM machine.

"As the car was running, a male entered the vehicle and made off towards the Botanic area. The vehicle was later left at Agincourt Avenue at the junction of Ormeau Avenue.

 “At around 00:30am, it was reported to police that entry had been gained to a restaurant in the Dublin Road area. The property was ransacked with a number of items including a sum of money taken during the incident. Damage was caused to the front door of the property, as well as smoke damage to the inside of the restaurant.

 “It was reported the property had been set alight inside and Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service attended and extinguished the fire. No one was inside the property during the incident, which is being treated as deliberate ignition. Police are also investigating a report of an attempted burglary at a fast food outlet in the Dublin Road area of Belfast at around the same time on Friday 10th April.

 “A 15 year old male was later arrested on suspicion of offences including aggravated vehicle taking causing injury, possession of a Class C Controlled drug and three counts of handling stolen goods. He is in police custody at this time.

 “Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 4 10/04/20. Alternatively, information can also be provided 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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