Gardaí have arrested two members of a prolific rural burglary gang who are suspected of carrying out at least 50 raids over the last two months.
The "significant" arrests were made by uniformed gardaí in Sligo over the weekend as part of Operation Thor, an ongoing initiative tackling marauding burglary gangs.
During the operation two males, aged 22 and 32, were arrested while two high-powered vehicles were also seized.
The criminals were detained for questioning in relation to burglary related offences but have since been released without charge, while a file is being prepared for the DPP.
The arrests were carried out last Friday afternoon shortly after 4pm by uniformed officers from Collooney garda station, who were assisted by members of the Garda Air Support Unit.
The two serial burglars, who have since been released without charge, are originally from the Limerick area and are part of a four man gang causing havoc along the west coast. One of the men was also wanted in relation to an outstanding bench warrant.
One source said that the thugs are suspected of carrying out at least 50 burglaries since Christmas, and target homes mainly in Cork, Limerick and Sligo.
"These were very significant arrests for gardai, with two high-powered cars also seized which were suspected of being used in burglaries. This crime grouping have been a key target for gardai across the west of the country for some time," a source said.
Like other prominent organised criminal gangs operating across rural Ireland, the Limerick based mob also use the country's motorways before and after carrying out burglaries.
The gang have become a primary target under Operation Thor, which recently saw a large drop in the number of break-ins over the Christmas period.