Wednesday 19 September 2018

Gardaí arrest 13 people for burglary, theft and fraud offences as part of major operation

Operation Irene is now in its third year
Operation Irene is now in its third year

Rachel Farrell

Gardaí have arrested 13 people in West Cork during an operation to crack down on criminal activity in the area.

A day of action took place on Wednesday as part of Operation Thor, a special operation targeting crime gangs throughout the country.

13 people were arrested for burglary, theft, fraud, drug offences and drink driving. A further 13 were questioned, and 17 people will appear in court in the coming weeks in connection with the crimes.

Almost €250 worth of drugs were reportedly seized, as well as one vehicle.

Speaking at Bandon Garda Station, Crime Prevention Officer Ian O'Callaghan said: "‘I would ask people to be aware of seasonal crimes at this time of year such as break-ins to vehicles, so never leave valuables on display at any location and always lock your vehicles, including outside your home. 

"Boat owners are reminded of the importance of protecting their outboard engines, remove from water if possible when unattended, mark same and consider tracking devices’."

During the day, Gardaí in West Cork distributed leaflets to encourage residents to use their home security checklist.

"I would ask everyone to go onto the Garda website, www.garda.ie and take the Home Security Checklist Challenge. There are a few simple tips that could make your home more secure such as secure all doors and windows, light up your home, use timer switches when out, store keys safely and away from windows and use your alarm even when at home," Sgt. O'Callaghan said.

"I would also ask that people keep a record of all valuables and to make property if possible so we can identify the owner if it is recovered’.

Four local secondary schools took part in a ‘Fatal Road Traffic Collision Simulation’ on the N71 Bandon to Clonakilty road. The aim of the simulation was to raise awareness of the dangers of drink driving and road safety.

There were three checkpoints in Ballylickey, Farran and Ballinhassing, where 150 inspections took place by the Department of Social Welfare.

The winter phase of Operation Thor saw a 43pc decrease in burglaries around the country.

In October 2017, the operation was launched following a spike in reports, with 1,427 burglaries reported in the State that month. 

Recent statistics revealed that by March 2018, only 806 burglaries were reported to the Gardaí. 

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