Monday 26 September 2016

Criminals now using battering rams to rob homes

Published 22/02/2016 | 02:30

Burglars are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their techniques (stock photo)
Burglars are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their techniques (stock photo)

Burglars are using battering rams, similar to those seen on US police drama shows, as well as hi-tech equipment, to target homes and elderly people in rural areas.

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A security expert has also highlighted how electric-signal jammers disguised as cigarette boxes and costing as little as €40, walkie-talkies and drones are being widely used by gangs in areas close to the M50 and other major motorways.

The gangs are also using spikes to scale the walls of homes with external wall insulation in a series of 'spider burglaries' to target upstairs windows which are often not alarmed as homeowners look to save costs on expensive security systems.

Now, there are fears in the security industry that more common trends in the UK will be adopted by burglars here.

Gardaí are investigating a number of burglaries in the Dublin area, where they suspect criminals used jammers to prevent alarms activating.

Police in the UK have been looking at a spate of burglaries that occurred after criminals targeted bungalows and removed the first four rows of roof tiles to enter family homes.

They then left the bungalows through the front door.

Fairco Windows and Doors managing director, Jim Toal, said he was called out to more than 12 burglaries across Ireland every week to offer crime-prevention advice.

He also advises gardaí and neighbourhood-watch groups about crime prevention.

"By virtue of us being out there and seeing so many burglaries in a week, how many other companies are attending to other burglaries?

"The day of the opportunistic burglar is gone. The new generation plan and execute their burglaries professionally," he said.

Mr Toal said the new generation of burglars and crime gangs were willing to put in huge amounts of reconnaissance work to make sure they could carry out robberies without risk of being caught.

Warning

This is especially the case in 'chain burglaries', where gangs station members armed with walkie-talkies at strategic points, including near the local Garda station, giving the intruders a two-minute warning of any interruption.

"When it comes to more sophisticated alarm systems, burglary teams are taking the chance that the alarm is monitored through the phone line and simply remotely copying the (internet) address of the transmission system and jamming the alarm," said Mr Toal.

"These transmission jammers are readily available to would-be thieves for as little as €40 and are operational up to a 30-metre radius."

According to Mr Toal, the only way to prevent a burglary is to make your home impenetrable with burglar-proof locks and windows.

Irish Independent

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