'Mother acts as driver for teen sons in burglaries'
A mother is suspected of dropping her two teenage sons off to carry out four daylight break-ins and thefts in the space of just a couple of hours.
Gardaí in Greystones, Co Wicklow, arrested a 14-year-old boy as he came out the window of a house wearing socks on his hands.
Officers are confident of arresting his older teenage brother, who is also a juvenile, and are also investigating the role of the boys' young mother, who is suspected of acting as the getaway driver and facilitator of the crimes.
In total, the teenage suspects targeted four properties in Greystones and Kilcoole on Wednesday afternoon last week, stealing a significant amount of cash and jewellery.
The suspects are considered members of a notorious Traveller burglary gang based in the Fettercairn area of Tallaght, Dublin.
They previously had links to slain Traveller burglary kingpin 'Fat' Andy Connors.
The 14-year-old was released without charge after being questioned at Bray garda station and a file will now be prepared for the DPP.
"This crew are considered an extremely prolific burglary gang who are suspected of being involved in burglaries all over the country.
"These are members of what are known as roving gangs," a senior source told the Irish Independent.
"While some people might be shocked that a young teenager of that age is involved in this type of organised criminality, the reality is that even younger kids are being used by these gangs for burglaries and thefts."
In total, there were eight burglaries carried out in the locality over two days last week, but the other four incidents are suspected of being carried out by a local 18-year-old.
The Tallaght gang are suspected of mainly operating "during daylight hours" in afternoons and evenings when homeowners are at work. They are suspected of carrying out dozens of break-ins in recent months across the country.
Last January, it was revealed that gardaí in north Wicklow had drawn up a detailed list of prolific burglary and theft offenders known as the 'Filthy 50' in a massive drive against the crime epidemic.
The crackdown saw a dramatic drop in burglaries, but these figures are now increasing again.
Gardaí have established that 22 of the 'Filthy 50' are based within the Bray Garda district alone, which is part of the Wicklow division where a special 'scoring card' against criminals was drawn up.
Another 18 burglars on the list are mostly based in Dublin areas such as Tallaght, Rathfarnham and Ballybrack.
Also included in the 'Filthy 50' list are a number of different sets of brothers, most of whom are part of the Traveller community.