Sunday 21 April 2019

Suspect arrested over 'Bonnie and Clyde' crime spree by couple

Crime scene: Staff at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin were among those targeted
PHOTO:GERRY MOONEY
Crime scene: Staff at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin were among those targeted PHOTO:GERRY MOONEY

Ken Foy

A 37-year-old-old man suspected of involvement in a 'Bonnie and Clyde' crime spree has been arrested by gardaí investigating almost 50 burglaries, theft and fraud offences.

The man and his female accomplice are suspected in a string of robberies in counties Longford, Roscommon, Kildare, Offaly and Westmeath, as well as thefts from three hospitals in Dublin.

It's believed staff were targeted by the pair at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, St Vincent's Hospital and Tallaght Hospital.

The man was being questioned last night at Longford garda station but officers have not yet arrested the woman, believed to be a mother of five.

The man, who was living in Dublin but is originally from Co Longford, was arrested last Thursday in the midlands town just two and a half hours after he was suspected of stealing a handbag at a health centre in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, at 2.30pm that day.

When Longford gardaí arrested the suspect he had already allegedly used an ATM card stolen in the Mullingar crime on several occasions.

However the officers in Longford were looking to question him about a separate theft of a wallet in St Mel's Cathedral that had happened in their district last Wednesday. CCTV footage had linked the man to this incident, it is understood.

While he has been in custody for the Longford theft, he has also been questioned by gardaí from a number of other districts in relation to other offences.

These include a robbery at a Spar shop in Roscommon town on Thursday, March 14, in which officers suspect the 'Bonnie and Clyde' partnership worked together.

A senior source said the arrested man is a "highly volatile" heroin addict who has been known to "hide blades in his mouth to give him the opportunity to self-harm in the event of being arrested".

"He has spat blood at gardaí in the past and claimed that he has HIV - this is an individual who has targeted elderly nuns and priests, as well as patients and staff in nursing homes as well as regular hospitals," the senior source pointed out.

"He is facing significant jail time after his arrest last Thursday and is suspected of being involved in 50 crimes all across Leinster since the start of January," the source added.

His female accomplice, also from Longford, is a suspect in some of the crimes the man has been involved with. However, she hasn't been involved in all his offences and she has not been arrested yet.

"Apart from being the chief suspect for thefts in three Dublin hospitals, this individual is suspected of robberies at nursing homes in counties Kildare, Offaly and Westmeath," a senior source explained.

"He has also been targeting churches and has hit churches in Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, Galway and Roscommon in which the victims have often been elderly priests whose ATM cards have been robbed and then used," the source added.

Irish Independent

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