Saturday 1 November 2014

Luas crime: Olivia Mitchell the latest victim

Published 11/02/2014 | 13:16

Olivia Mitchell, Fine Gael deputy for Dublin South. Picture:  Tom Burke
Olivia Mitchell, Fine Gael deputy for Dublin South. Picture: Tom Burke

A DUBLIN TD has become the latest victim of crime on the Luas.

Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell had her purse stolen from her handbag by a pickpocket on the Green line.

The theft left her “devastated” after the purse – which is of major sentimental value – was taken along with €250 in cash, a credit and debit card and a Leap Card.

The incident happened on the Luas green line at 5.30pm yesterday between the Harcourt and Cowper stops and is now being investigated by gardai.

“I love the Luas and I have never had any trouble on it before even though I have been using it for 12 years,” Deputy Mitchell told the Herald today.

“I was on my way home when I became conscious of a guy shoving his coat against my bag. He must have opened the zip and removed my purse.”

Gardai are viewing CCTV in a bid to catch the culprit and repeated security warnings were issued to customers on Green line trams last night.

A source explained: “This is just one of a number of instances on the Luas Green line over the past week – a professional gang has been operating on it.”

What I didn't notice at the time is that he must have opened the zip of my bag and removed my purse. He had probably seen me place my

purse into the bag after I used my Leap Card,” added Ms Mitchell.

“The guy was respectable looking and well-dressed. He had very sallow skin and was aged in his late 30s.

“The most upsetting thing is that I loved the purse – it was a Christmas present from my son, and of course losing the cash and cards is also a headache.

CCTV

“I didn't sleep last night because I kept on running over what happened in my mind.”

Ms Mitchell noticed her purse was missing when she got off the tram at Balally.

She then informed Luas security personnel who made a note of the tram number and advised her to go to the gardai.

She reported the matter to Dundrum gardai who are today studying CCTV of the incident.

The Luas service was plagued by anti-social behaviour last year, when almost 1,000 incidents occurred.

But the operators have refused to reveal how many thefts there were. Transdev said only that it was “accurate to say the majority of incidents were on the Luas Red Line”.

By Ken Foy

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