Looking for your angle grinder? Major gardai push underway to reunite lost and stolen property with owners
Published 21/09/2016 | 13:01
Make our job easier and mark your stuff is the message from frustrated Gardaí trying to return millions of euro worth of stolen or lost property to its rightful owners.
From tomorrow, members of the public will be invited to attend selected Garda stations around the country to browse brochures full of items recovered by officers over the last 18 months.
Dubbed ‘National Property Recovery Day’, thousands of stolen and lost bicycles, mobile phones, construction tools, cars, and even a speed boat and a pair of jet skits will be available for the public to lay claim to.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan said returning items would be “so much easier” if the public took the time to properly mark their items.
“If we can identify the property that is a key element in returning it to its rightful owners,” he said.
“It’s very important for any police officer to avoid getting frustrated on the job but, at times, it is difficult not to when you see the array of property recovered.
“It is hard to understand why some owners haven’t taken the time to put on an identifying mark, as it would be really helpful to us if there was.
“The value of some of these items is staggering,” added Superintendent John Ferris.
“We just recently returned a €9,000 bike to a German tourist who took part in the Dublin triathlon [last month]. We wouldn’t have been able to do so if not for the markings he’d placed on it.”
The emotional cost to losing property can often be resolved by returning the stolen or lost items, he added.
Last year in Ireland there was 24,000 burglaries said Assistant Garda Commissioner Nolan.
And while most property recovered was immediately returned to its owners, there were many cases where Gardaí just couldn’t locate the owner.
“If something is recovered in Dublin, more than likely it could have come from the other side of the country.
“And if that’s the case, it’s very difficult for us to return it. That’s why we’re encouraging the public to mark and document their property.”
Highlighting some of the more unusual items, Mr Nolan said Gardaí were currently storing a jet ski, presumed stolen or lost, from county Kerry in a Kevin St Garda Station in Dublin.
For those members of the public interested in seeing if Gardaí might be holding their unclaimed stolen or lost property, a full list of which Garda stations, shopping centres and hotels were these items will be displayed is available here.
All unclaimed property will also be available to view online on An Garda Síochána’s website from tomorrow.