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25 held in metal theft crackdown

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Two men were stabbed in Dublin last night

Two men were stabbed in Dublin last night

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Two men were stabbed in Dublin last night

A total of 25 people have been arrested during a Garda crackdown on metal theft.

More than 70 searches were carried out, 260 checkpoints mounted and 402 targeted patrols carried out during the 24 hour operation on Monday.

The swoop was part of an ongoing Europe wide operation targeting travelling criminals involved in metal theft.

It was carried out four days after gardai launched a public awareness campaign to highlight that metal theft is not a victimless crime but affects people, businesses and community organisations nationwide.

Gardai said one person has already pleaded guilty in court to charges of handling stolen goods.

Three were charged with theft, three with burglary, one with handling, three for road traffic offences, one for breaching a warrant, and one for obstruction.

Another ten were released and files sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions while two youths were released pending a juvenile liaison office referral.

Gardai said the operation was carried out alongside officials from the Revenue Commissioners, Department of Social Welfare and Social Protection, and local authorities.

Last week officers revealed almost 5,000 metal thefts have been reported to gardai in the last two years, including beer kegs, road signs, goal posts and religious relics.

They called for anyone who sees anyone acting suspiciously, or who is offered metal for sale, to contact Crimestoppers in confidence on 1800 25 00 25.

PA Media