Unemployed man has €13k car seized as CAB tackles burglars
The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has up to 30 burglars connected to half-a-dozen gangs across the country in its sights in a bid to strip them of their ill-gotten gains.
The revelation comes after two Traveller criminals had cars and cash taken from them by CAB through the High Court earlier this week.
Similar actions against more criminals and are expected before the courts in the new year.
Gangs have been targeted in Dublin, Waterford, Sligo and Mayo.
They have been using the country's motorway network to orchestrate a spate of burglaries.
In court this week, a car worth €13,000 was seized from 23-year-old unemployed father-of-two Michael Wall, who has an address at Fortunestown Crescent, Tallaght.
The court heard that CAB officials and gardai took the vehicle into their possession from Wall's mother's property in Tallaght on September 16 last year, despite her allegedly throwing a brick at it which damaged the bonnet and smashed the windscreen.
CAB stored it at a compound in Blanchardstown, but two days later discovered the car had been stolen.
It was subsequently recovered a few days later and is being stored at a more secure location.
In a separate case, Mr Justice Fullam also ruled as proceeds of crime a car and €6,000 held in savings accounts of a man who CAB believes was involved in several burglaries.
The orders were made against Thomas Connors, with an address at Eldon Court, Leixlip, Co Kildare.
They related to a VW Golf bought last year with €17,000 in cash and €6,000 in an account in Dundrum Credit Union in Dublin.
Connors was not present in court for the application and no submissions opposing it were made on his behalf.
"One of the men CAB has targeted had bought and sold 19 cars for cash over a four-year period, yet was applying for legal aid in court," one senior source told the Herald.
"The gangs are not only from Irish Traveller backgrounds, but are also of eastern European origin."
It also emerged this week that seven out of 10 burglars released from prison in 2009 have committed another offence - mainly public order, burglary or theft - within three years.
This compares with six out of 10 released in 2008.
Gardai have been trying numerous methods in an att- empt to catch the burglars, including an increase in checkpoints manned by armed offic- ers and the use of 'heat map' technology to identify specific areas that are considered at high risk.