Armed thugs flee after barging into wrong flat

The incident took place in a flat at Barn Park Crescent, Wester Hailes. Picture: Google
The incident took place in a flat at Barn Park Crescent, Wester Hailes. Picture: Google
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A HOUSEHOLDER was left terrified when he opened his door to find three men brandishing knives on his doorstep.

The hooded thugs barged into the man’s hallway – before fleeing when they realised they were in the wrong house.

Everybody is trying their best to improve Wester Hailes … To hear of this, it’s sad

John Aitchison

It is believed the bizarre incident in Barn Park Crescent, Wester Hailes, was a case of mistaken identity.

The resident watched in shock as the gang, realising their error, turned and ran out of the house just minutes after forcing their way in.

They are believed to have fled towards Barn Park Crescent or Clovenstone Road after the incident in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police are now hunting the three suspects, who are described as in their early 20s and wearing grey or black hooded tracksuits.

They did not attempt to hurt the occupants of the home nor did they try to steal anything.

Their motives are not clear, but it is not believed to be a “housebreaking gone wrong”.

Detective Sergeant Robbie Wallace, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a frightening experience for the occupants of the house. We are keen to speak to anyone with information that can help us trace these individuals.”

John Aitchison, chairman of Wester Hailes community council, said the incident was alarming and threatened to damage the reputation of the district, which is trying to shake off associations with social problems, and high levels of crime, alcohol and drug dependency.

Mr Aitchison said: “Everybody in the community is trying their best to improve the situation in Wester Hailes. It’s had a bad name for a long time. To hear of this happening out of the blue, it’s sad.

“Nobody should be afraid to contact the police if they know anything.”

He said that from what he had been told by police officers and residents, the overall picture of crime in the Wester Hailes area was improving.

A report released by MoneySupermarket earlier this year revealed that the EH14 postcode – which covers homes in Wester Hailes, Currie and Balerno – fared the worst when it came to break-ins.

Anyone with information about Monday morning’s incident is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com