Gardai quiz gang over €200,000 spate of burglaries
Published 01/10/2011 | 05:00
Gardai have smashed a gang believed to have carried out scores of burglaries across Dublin and Meath in recent weeks and stolen goods worth at least €200,000.
Officers recovered some of the stolen haul when they raided a series of addresses at North Circular Road and Killarney Street on the northside of the capital yesterday morning.
Gardai from Pearse Street station detained nine Romanian suspects -- seven men and two women -- as a result of the swoops shortly after 7am.
Officers said last night that the burglaries were well-organised and the work of a professional gang of thieves.
Last Saturday, the gang broke into an electrical store at Camden Street in the south city and and lined up a range of goods that they intended to steal.
They returned the following day with a van and loaded it up with electrical equipment with a value of €40,000.
Detectives said the gang had been focusing mainly on business premises in the south city over the past month but had also previously been operating on the southside in Dalkey and Killiney and robbing private houses and apartments in Duleek and Laytown in Co Meath.
One officer said last night: "They operated in groups of four or five and robbed a wide range of goods.
"They opted for whatever they could load into a van, transport the goods back to Romania and sell them on the black market.
"Their haul ranged from TVs, camcorders, cameras, laptops and mobile phones to electrical goods, briefcases, chairs and cash in safes", he added.
During the searches, gardai recovered about 20 mobile phones, some of which had been taken in street snatches from unsuspecting users; jewellery; watches; and laptops; and part of the haul has already been identified by the owners.
Gardai believe the gang, some of whom are understood to be from the Roma community, set up base in this country earlier this year and had been involved in a surge of burglaries in the past couple of months.
"They operated like an organised gang, knew their market for disposal of the stolen items and concentrated on what they believed they could sell off quickly," the officer said.
Gardai said they had arrested most of the main suspects but were still searching for other gang members.
Five men, ranging in age from their mid-teens to mid-30s, were detained under the anti-gangland legislation with gardai using their powers under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007, which allows them to be held without charge for up to seven days.
Two other men, aged 27 and 22 years, were arrested under section four of the Criminal Justice Act on suspicion of handling stolen property.
A 23-year-old woman was arrested in connection with outstanding warrants and taken before the courts yesterday.
And a 35-year-old woman was brought to prison under immigration legislation for proposed deportation.
At least two other suspects are being sought by gardai.
Those in custody for questioning were being held last night at various garda stations in the city centre.