A DUBLIN teenager has appeared in court on charges linked to a series of letterbox “fishing” burglaries which led to the theft of several vehicles.
The Dublin Children's Court heard that the 17-year-old boy used bamboo sticks with a magnet or a hook taped on the end to fish out car keys through unsuspecting home-owners' letterboxes.
He admitted burglary and motor theft related charges after he was arrested on May 13 last in Dunboyne, Co. Meath, when he and two other males were seen getting out of a Volvo car which, along with a Volkswagen Caddy van, had been stolen in Tallaght, Dublin the previous day.
Garda David Harte said the youth, who cannot be named because he is a minor, had been arrested as he was about to get into a taxi and admitted he had been in the stolen vehicles.
Gardai recovered a “bamboo stick with a powerful magnet on top” from the stolen Volvo and it had been used for “fishing keys through letterboxes”.
The teen, who was accompanied to his hearing by family members, has also admitted that on May 15, 2013, at Belgard Heights Tallaght, he had a screwdriver and gloves for use in theft and on June 16 he again had a screwdriver for the same purpose.
A pre-sentence probation report was sought by Judge John O'Connor and the teenager, who is in custody in relation to other charges, will face his next hearing in October.
He will also have to enter pleas in connection with other burglary-motor thefts where he allegedly fished car keys out of houses through letterboxes.
The juvenile court heard that on May 3 last at a house in residential estate in Ballycullen, Dublin, the teen had a stick with a hook on the end and fished out keys to a '04-reg Opel Vectra, again through a letterbox, and the car was then taken. A few minutes later, in the same estate, he was disturbed by the occupant of another house; he ran and dropped the bamboo stick as he got into a car and left the area, it was alleged.
Detective Garda Kieron O'Neill also said it would be alleged the boy was involved in a burglary-motor theft at a house in Knocklyon, Dublin 16 on May 4 last. A '06-reg Saab was taken from the house “by a method known as fishing” and a bamboo stick was used to remove the car keys through the letterbox.
The teen was arrested the following day when he was spotted changing a wheel on the Saab and he made some admissions in relation to the theft of the high-powered car.