A LIMERICK-BASED gang responsible for a spate of burglaries in west Sligo struck again at the weekend, making their escape in a high-powered car.
The gang were chased by Gardai including the Regional Armed Response Unit on Saturday night after striking once more during evening Mass time.
Residents in the area say they are now "living in fear".
Between 7.30pm and 8pm two unoccupied houses were broken into at Kilglass and small sums of cash were taken. There was also an attempted burglary at a house on the Pier Road, Enniscrone.
The householder came across three men at his back door.
They fled in a silver Subaru Legacy car that was subsequently seen travelling at high speed on the main Enniscrone Road.
The armed unit gave chase but lost sight of the Subaru which wasn't observed by Gardai again until around 9.30pm in the Swinford area.
Gardai again followed but the gang were able to get away and the car was last seen on the main Claremorris to Ballindine road.
The gang is also being linked to a robbery at a shop at Breaffy, Castlebar around 5 pm and another burglary in Ballina the same night.
A Garda source told The Sligo Champion: "This gang is driving a high powered car and they can be back home in a couple of hours.
"Even if they do come across Gardai they know they will be able to get away as most Garda cars wouldn't be fast enough to give chase.
"An unusual aspect of this gang's operation is that they don't mind gaining entry to houses where the occupants are still present. "They don't seem scared to confront householders. "The fact they are striking early in the night means they are more than likely to come across people."
Checkpoints, backed up by the Regional Armed Response Unit, will continue in West Sligo in the lead up to Christmas and extra patrols are also in place with Gardai determined to apprehend the gang.