Sunday 22 July 2018

'I am looking for you, I will find you' - Michael Healy-Rae's message to thief who stole his bike

Michael Healy-Rae
Michael Healy-Rae

Sean Nolan

Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has issue a warning to the thief who stole his bike in Dublin city centre today.

In a tweet this afternoon, Deputy Healy-Rae said: "A message to the thief that stole my bike outside the passport office in Dublin this morning. I am looking for you, I will find you and it will be a sorry day for you that you ever decided to mess with me and my property."

Speaking to Independent.ie this afternoon, Deputy Healy Rae explained what happened.

"I had a bit of business to do in the Passport Office and in the rush I forgot my lock and chain. I was in the office for some time and when I came out the bike was gone.

"I have the bike a long time. I bought it with my father many years ago. I used it all the time, it was the only way to get around the city."

Deputy Healy Rae confirmed he has reported the incident to the gardai but he told Independent.ie that he does not expect to see it again.

"It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack," he said.

It was reported last year that 12 bikes each day are stolen in Dublin.

Earlier this month it was revealed that gardai are using 'bait bikes' at locations across the city to catch bicycle thieves.

Bikes were deliberately left in 'hot spot' locations in the south city on 50 occasions under Operation Chain, with gardaí monitoring them, ready to swoop if anyone attempted to make off with them.

New figures provided to Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall suggest that arrests were made in around a third of instances that 'bait bikes' were deployed.

Now Ms Shortall has suggested the operation could be expanded to university campuses and to cities like Cork and Galway on a pilot basis.

The Dublin north-west TD said: "Bike theft is a real problem for cyclists in Dublin city and other cities and yet, because it often goes unreported to gardaí, it's difficult to get a proper sense of the scale of it.

"Gardaí's novel use of decoy bikes as a type of honey trap for thieves could be a useful deterrent," she added.

She said that any such operation should be justified by a "high rate of arrests and the appropriate number of prosecutions". Ms Shortall stressed that prevention is "always better than cure" and noted the need for bike users to have good locks.

She also said offices, apartment blocks and third-level institutions should have proper facilities where people can park their bikes so they are not left on the streets.

Operation Chain was devised by local Garda management in the Pearse Street Garda District.

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