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Saturday 19 January 2019

Father's horror as armed men break into home and steal bikes while he was upstairs giving his children a bath

Peter Murtagh's stolen Cervelo P3 TT bike
Peter Murtagh's stolen Cervelo P3 TT bike
Peter Murtagh's stolen Cervelo P3 TT bike Newsdesk Newsdesk

A Dublin man has spoken out after three men armed with crowbars broke into his home during broad daylight and stole two bikes.

Peter Murtagh from Castleknock in Dublin had been home with his wife Sarah and two young daughters (one and three-years-old) when his home was broken into at 2pm on Saturday.

The couple had been upstairs given their young daughters a bath when three men armed with crowbars entered their home.

"They smashed two windows, they tried to force the conservatory door off its hinges and they ended up smashing the glass there. They cracked another window and got the crowbar through a third window and reefed that off its hinges," Mr Murtagh told RTE's Liveline.

He said it would have been obvious to the intruders that someone was at home. "The lights were on, the TV was on and the cars were outside."

One of the Murtaghs' neighbours had spotted the men at the home but assumed they were either friends of the family or carrying out work as they looked like "respectable guys".

However, the neighbour realised something wasn't right when the men pulled their hoods up after noticing she was watching them. She then saw them pass Mr Murtagh's bikes over the wall and called the gardai.

"They were in and out within 11 minutes," said Mr Murtagh

Mr Murtagh came downstairs and noticed that his bike was missing but said it was "mystifying" that the family didn't hear anything.

"I came downstairs and that was all going on in the back of the house but they had been in the front porch and had taken a bike.

"I ran out the front and I gave a yell up to my wife... they had to have known we were in the house. They even tried to force the door of the kids' playroom with a crowbar."

Mr Murtagh said he initially assumed it was been some "opportunist" but believes that he had been targeted in a calculated break-in.

Mr Murtagh and his neighbour gave chase to the van but lost it after it headed towards the Carpenterstown area.

He said he was hopeful that the men would have been caught by now but said he is starting to lose hope as the days pass.

"We've got witnesses, we've got descriptions, we've got number plates that match the van... but it's Monday now and we haven't had much feedback."

Mr Murtagh said that the family are completely shook up.

Peter Murtagh's stolen Cervelo P3 TT bike
Peter Murtagh's stolen Cervelo P3 TT bike

"My one-year-old obviously can't comprehend what has happened but the three-year-old saw the smashed glass. For it to happen in broad daylight, we just can't comprehend it."

One of the bike is a Cervelo P3 TT, white and red with black wheels. Mr Murtagh said the bike cost him €5,500 in 2011. The other is a Planet X Pro Carbon Road Bike.

He said it's "well-known" that bikes are being shipped off to the UK and further afield after they're stolen.

However he is hoping that someone might be able to identify it if it comes up for sale.

Mr Murtagh asked for anyone involved in cycling or Triathlon clubs to keep an eye out for the bikes and contact Blanchardstown Garda Station at (01) 666 7000.

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