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Thursday 18 January 2018

Jewellery from 40 heists found as gangs smashed

Members of the garda south-eastern Regional Support Unit with some of their equipment at the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary, yesterday.
Members of the garda south-eastern Regional Support Unit with some of their equipment at the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary, yesterday.

Tom Brady Security Editor

A garda operation has smashed two organised crime gangs believed to be responsible for carrying out 40 burglaries each across four counties.

Suspects have been identified and questioned about the crimes in search and arrest operation in Dublin and surrounding counties.

A large haul of stolen jewellery and other property has been recovered.

Details of the arrests were revealed yesterday as gardai received a private briefing on Operation Laidir in Templemore, Co Tipperary.

Laidir is run by gardai in the south-eastern region and feeds into Fiacla, the nationwide operation cracking down on travelling gangs behind break-ins at homes and commercial premises across the State.

The operation, commanded by Assistant Commissioner Gerry Phillips with Det Supt Dominic Hayes as senior investigating officer, is focusing on 200 suspects.

Asst Comm Phillips said the suspects include local criminals as well as gangs travelling in high-powered cars to burglarise a series of targeted houses.

They are split into two tiers for investigation and a large number are already the subject of a file sent to the DPP when Laidir swung into action in February.

One car was spotted travelling at a speed of 240kmh on a motorway without lights before it was intercepted.

Gardai also intercepted another car that they believe was used in a total of 80 burglaries. It had been brought in from England, resprayed and plated.

The regional support unit for the south-east region was also officially launched yesterday.

The unit has been in action for almost a month and played a crucial part in supplying the information leading to the identification of key members of a Lithuanian commuting gang, responsible for a spate of jewellery raids around the country.

The support unit (RSU), which has 24 officers, also helped to uncover the largest cannabis growhouse in the State when it raided a warehouse near Piltown, Co Kilkenny, last week.

This is the fifth and final RSU to be set up. The first was launched in Templemore in September 2008.

Irish Independent

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