A BURGLARY at the home of Communications Minister Alex White is believed to have been opportunistic rather than targeted.
Mr White has denied that any sensitive State papers were stolen during the break-in.
The thief gained access to the minister's home in Terenure, south Dublin, through a skylight between 11pm on Thursday and 7am Friday last. Shortly after the theft was reported to gardai, officers raided a house in Crumlin and found Mr White's stolen Ford Fusion car parked outside.
A spare key belonged to an Audi car, also taken during the break-in, was recovered in a hedge at the Crumlin house while a briefcase containing some of Mr White's ministerial papers was also found in the garda search.
The thief made off with an Apple MacBook laptop and an iPad, which belonged to the Department of Communications.
A spokesman for the department said their computer had encryption software installed that made it difficult for hackers to access the information stored on the device. He said no sensitive information stored on the iPad but it had been wiped remotely as a precaution.
"A laptop stolen during the break-in, believed to be an Apple MacBook, belonged to a family member," he added.
He said there was no cause for concern and the minister wanted to "put this matter behind him".
Gardai said last night that inquiries into the burglary were continuing but there had been no arrests so far.
Forensic tests on the recovered car, key and briefcase, are being carried out in an effort to help officers identify the culprit.
Gardai asked anybody with information about the incident to contact them at Terenure station, tel 01 666 6400.
Mr White, a senior counsel and former lecturer, is a Labour TD for Dublin South.