GUNOWNERS are being urged to make sure their firearms are kept secure at all times following a burglary in Listowel this week in which a shotgun and rifle were stolen from a house.
The firearms, which were legally held, were stolen from a secure safe when burglars broke into a home in the Feale Drive estate of the town sometime over the course of Thursday night and Friday morning.
Gardaí say the owner took every care to ensure the guns were secure and they have no issue with this part of the investigation. However, they appeal for all gunowners in the area to make sure firearms are safely stowed away in secure safes at all times when not in use.
The house is not believed to have been targeted especially for the guns. Gardaí believe the guns were taken after the raiders discovered the gun safe on the premises in an opportunistic raid on the unoccupied home. Ammunition, a small amount of cash and a van were also taken in the burglary. The van, however, was later recovered in Tralee.
Listowel gardaí received a report about the break-in on Friday and immediately sealed off the house as they carried out a technical examination of the scene. The van was also examined forensically by gardaí after it was discovered in Tralee.
"We're taking the matter very seriously and appeal to anyone who might have noticed any suspicious activitiy in the area of Feale Drive late on Thursday night or in the early hours of Friday morning to contact us in Listowel," Superintendent Michael Fitzpatrick said. "There's absolutely no issue with the security of the guns in the house as the owner took every precaution to ensure they were kept safe. But we continue to appeal to gunowners to make sure their firearms are safe and secure at all times," Supt Fitzpatrick added.