Gardaí hunting mock detective

John 'Buddy' O'Brien. Photo courtesy An Garda Síochána
John 'Buddy' O'Brien. Photo courtesy An Garda Síochána

Gardaí have launched a nationwide hunt for a Tralee born 'career criminal' alleged to have posed as a detective to rob elderly people in several counties. John 'Buddy' O'Brien (40) is being sought in connection with a spate of robberies in Cork, Clare, Waterford, Mayo and Donegal.

Primarily targeting elderly people who live alone, O'Brien is understood to have posed as a plain clothes garda detective to gain access to their homes before stealing money. In the course of several such robberies, gardaí said he has stolen a 'considerable' amount of cash from elderly and vulnerable people.

Described as a career criminal, he has over 100 convictions. Originally from Tralee - where he is known to return frequently - he has also lived in the Abbeyfeale area with addresses at Hill View and Clash Road in the town.

Following an appeal on RTE's Crimecall late last month, a nationwide hunt is now on for Mr O'Brien. This is being led by detectives at Mallow Garda Station.

John 'Buddy' O'Brien is described as five foot eight inches in height of stocky build. He has black hair and blue eyes. He has a mole on his lips and a number of tattoos including an Indian ink dot under his left eye, a tattoo of the word "mum" on his lower right arm a tattoo of a cross on his lower left arm. Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Gardaí at Mallow, on (022) 31450.