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Tuesday 25 July 2017

Teenage boy in bicycle theft gang bundled into van and has leg broken by vigilantes

One of the stolen bikes recovered by gardai
One of the stolen bikes recovered by gardai

Ken Foy

A 16-year-old boy who is suspected of being part of a gang who are behind a spate of high-end bicycle and car thefts in south Dublin had his leg broken in a suspected vigilante attack.

Gardai are aware of the incident but are unable to carry out a proper investigation into the attack on the south Dublin teenager because he has not made a complaint to gardai.

However detectives have received reports that he was bundled into a van during the alleged incident and assaulted.

The alleged incident happened in early December.

The teenager is one of at least four juvenile males who gardai from Crumlin are investigating for a local theft crime spree.

The teenagers are suspected of mainly targeting bikes, some of which are worth up to €1,000, and then selling the items on websites such as Donedeal.ie.

Gardai in Crumlin have appealed for people who have had bikes stolen to contact them.

The theft of bicycles continues to be a massive issue in Ireland with 6,700 bikes stolen in the country in 2014 and this figure is expected to increase this year.

It is in an area which includes Tallaght, Crumlin and Terenure that the bike theft crew are most active.

It has emerged that a member of this gang, who is already on bail for theft offences, was arrested in the Terenure area over the festive period after he was caught in a back garden attempting to steal a bicycle.

Gardai have become increasingly frustrated that despite a number of planned operations against the gang, they continue to be active “night after night”.

It is understood that the juveniles are “under the influence” of older gangland criminals who are involved in using websites to sell a variety of stolen goods.

“These youngsters have been arrested before. They get bail and continue to commit these offences,” a source said.

“In some cases they cannot even be charged because of their age. This is a serious problem.”

Since the introduction of the bike to work scheme, under which tax breaks are available for those buying new bikes, there are more high-value bicycles than ever for thieves to target.

Officers advise that people record their serial number and take a selfie/photo with the bike and use U-locks with the ‘Sold Secure’ accreditation, ‘Silver’ or ‘Gold’ standard.

Cyclists are also advised to lock their bikes at home as more bikes are being stolen from gardens and sheds and always report a stolen bike to gardai.

Herald

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