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Friday 19 January 2018

Criminals targeting expensive tools of the trade

Trainee Garda Jessica Newman from the Garda College in Templemore takes note of some of the recovered items on display. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Trainee Garda Jessica Newman from the Garda College in Templemore takes note of some of the recovered items on display. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Rural crime is becoming so bad that businesses have to factor in the cost of expensive machinery being stolen, it has been warned.

Self-employed businessman Billy Fahy was among a steady stream of people looking through the €200,000 worth of goods believed stolen across Ireland and the UK at the garda property recovery day in Nenagh, Co Tipperary yesterday.

Spread out across the warehouse were dozens of strimmers, valuable chainsaws, expensive tool-kits, a quad, car trailers, costly con-saws and generators.

Targeted

Mr Fahy said tradespeople are being relentlessly targeted by criminals.

"If you have a logo on your van or if you are a tradesman it is nearly like a tax that you have every year that you have to factor that in to your accounts," the landscape gardener said.

For Mr Fahy, who has been operating Lush Landscapes in Kilkenny for 10 years, there was no sign of his items that were stolen about two months ago from his shed.

"Luckily I'd a lot of handtools in the jeep - it was more cement mixers, consaws, powerwashers, drills, strimmers and a lawnmower. There was about €5,000 or €6,000 worth taken," he said.

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"The year before I was up in Dublin and everything was stolen out of the back of the jeep and a couple of years before out of the back of a van."

The trip proved more fruitful for some as they identified property they believed was stolen from them and those cases are now with gardaí.

They will now be forwarded to the DPP. Most of those who took the time to view the items were working in the construction industry, farming or self-employed workers.

Garda crime prevention officer Tom O'Dwyer urged people to use ultra-violet pens to mark their Eircode into smaller household items or etch it into larger industrial items.

"We also want people to think about items they are offered for sa le second-hand such as tools," he said. Sgt O'Dwyer added the goods would not be stolen if there wasn't a market for them.


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