Were three cars stolen from one house to be used in gang hit?
Gardai who recovered three stolen cars are investigating if the vehicles were to be used in a gangland hit.
The vehicles - with a combined value of €90,000 - were stolen from a home in the Abbeyfield estate in Milltown, south Dublin shortly before 5am on September 12. The cars were stolen while three occupants in the home were asleep.
All vehicles were later parked "off-side" in the nearby Harold's Cross and Terenure areas.
Sources say gardai believe that the cars were left at these locations to be used for "serious crime" - possibly a gangland hit - rather than be sold either in this country or abroad.
"It is a common tactic for criminals to steal cars and then place them at a handy location for the vehicles to be later used in a serious crime, sometimes weeks or months later," a source told the Herald.
It has emerged that a member of the public recognised the Audi A4 in the Harold's Cross area and alerted investigating gardai in Donnybrook.
The other two cars, a BMW Series M Sport and a Volkswagen Scirocco, were later found in estates in the Harold's Cross and Terenure areas
One of the car owners, Richard McElwee, had given gardai a detailed list of everything that was in his car, including a pair of 3D glasses he had brought home from the cinema.
After locating the Audi A4, a member of gardai noticed a pair of 3D glasses discarded nearby, which led him down a laneway to where the Volkswagen Scirocco was found.
On their journey back to Donnybrook Garda Station, the BMW was spotted in the Terenure area.
All three cars have been retrieved for investigative purposes and are due to be returned to the owners over the next couple of days.
A garda spokesperson said no arrests have been made but they are investigating the thefts.
"We can't quite believe it. After a week had passed we were beginning to give up all hope. There'll be no point in doing the lottery this week as we've surely used up all our luck now,"Mr McElwee told the Herald.
"Ringing my sister to give her the news was one of the best things I've ever had to do. That extra pair of eyes made all the difference," he added.