Thieves target blind Ilfracombe artist three times in one week

Connor Mackay from Ilfracombe is determined to start over after thieves stole most of his property.

Connor Mackay from Ilfracombe is determined to start over after thieves stole most of his property. - Credit: Archant

Artist and musician Connor Mackay determined to carry on after he is burgled twice and targeted on bus.

A partially sighted Ilfracombe artist and musician has vowed not to let the criminals win after thieves struck three times in a week to steal everything he has.

Connor Mackay’s home at Chandlers Way in Bicclescombe Park was burgled twice in three days, as thieves broke in on Friday, January 25 and again over the weekend to take practically everything but the furniture.

It was the final straw for the 39-year-old art degree student, who is three quarters blind, after his laptop computer was stolen on Tuesday, January 22 as he returned home on the bus from college at Petroc in Barnstaple.

Altogether, thieves took his computer, Finlux 32-inch television, Play Station 3 and games, an internet hub, a Marshall Practice amplifier, a gold pocket watch plus his DVD collection of more than 600 movies.


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“I was completely shell-shocked,” said Connor, who with his guitar is a regular performer at local venues such as the Chill Bar in Ilfracombe.

“They took year’s worth of collectables and the living room was bare – it doesn’t feel like my home any more and the only thing left was furniture. I can pretty much guarantee a few thousand pounds worth was stolen.

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“But to the burglars who have done this to me: You have only made my resolve stronger – I am determined to get back on track.”

The Friday break-in occurred between 4.45-7.30pm, Connor returning home to find his door open and the glass smashed. The intruders took his PS3, games and hub, but nothing else.

On Saturday he went to stay with his friend Matt Hyder, but was stunned when he returned on Monday to find everything else gone.

It is the loss of the Dell i5 laptop he feels most. It was provided by Petroc and contained two-and-a-half years of coursework, most fortunately been backed up by paper copies.

The gold watch was given to Connor by his mother, while the amp also had sentimental value, a gift from a friend who has since passed away.

His art and music is a massive outlet for him, despite being born with congenital cataracts and he is determined this will not stop him from completing his BA Fine Art degree.

“Matt has been a hero, absolutely incredible and a lot of good friends have gathered around to support me, including Paul Gates who has been awesome,” added Connor.

“It is going to take a while to get over it, but I can’t let the criminals win.”

Detective Inspector Dave Atkinson at Barnstaple CID has asked for anyone with any information to contact police. This includes anything suspicious seen in the Chandlers Way area on January 25 - such as someone carrying electrical items or video games – or during the weekend up to January 28. If you can help, call 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, quoting reference CI/13/90 or CI/13/97.

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