Gardaí investigating crime gang targeting Toyota Landcruisers

Toyota Landcruisers are amongst the popular makes to be stolen.
Toyota Landcruisers are amongst the popular makes to be stolen.

Louise Walsh

A criminal gang may be targeting farms in the north west of Meath for Toyota Landcruisers and jeeps, after a spate of car thefts in the area in recent months.

Gardai are investigating a link between the theft of up to 10 vehicles after car keys were taken during break-ins at houses within an eight mile radius in rural Meath.

Most of the break-ins were at farm houses and the thieves seem to be targeting Landcruisers parked outside.

The vehicle owners hit were from the areas from Nobber, Kilmainhamwood, Drumconrath and Lobinstown. 

However after a lull of a few weeks, another landcruiser was taken in Meath on Wednesday afternoon, this time at Garlow Cross, on the Dublin side of Navan.

In this case, the vehicle, which was a 07,  was taken at 3pm while the farmer was harvesting in a field.

As investigations continue, Meath Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Dean Kerins is again urging anyone who may have noticed suspicious behaviour or unusual activity, in the area to report it to their nearest garda station.

He also advised anyone who has bought a new landcruiser or jeep in recent years to consider installing a tracking system.

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"Up to ten vehicles have been taken from houses - mostly farm houses - within a certain area in north-west Meath in the last couple of months

"The criminals seem to be particularly interested in Landcruisers and although investigations are continuing, It is likely to be an organised gang taking the jeeps.

"There seems to be a pattern emerging as in all the robberies, entry was gained through breaking the back door lock or cutting a hole in the window to get to the car keys - which are mainly always kept by householders in the kitchen area.

"In the most recent case, the landcruiser was taken during the day and we would again reiterate to owners to be mindful about the security of their vehicles."

Sgt Kerins said that it was not the first time this area had been hit for specific car brands

" A number of years ago, Caddy vans were targetted and before that it was 05/06 and 07 registered Landcruisers.

"I'd urge anyone with a newish Landcruiser or jeep to be extra vigilant - keep car keys out of sight and think about installing a tracking system which are inexpensive these days.

"Also if you notice any increased suspicious activity at a garage anywhere, where these vehicles could be getting stripped for parts, please contact your local garda station.

" A security review should be carried out checking all aspects of home security to offer the best protection," he further advised.  

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