Over 1000 arrests in operation targeting pickpockets and muggers
MORE than 1,100 people have been arrested as part of an operation targeting pickpockets and muggers in Dublin city.
As part of Operation Aughrim, some 610 Romanian nationals have been arrested for over 100 different offences.
The hugely successful operation, which is led by gardai based at Pearse Street Garda Station, was launched last summer to target the main players behind the crimewave that has resulted in a spate of pickpockets and mugging.
Gardai set up the operation after a huge spike in the reports of stolen smartphones.
But despite so many arrests, senior sources say that there “seems to be no end” to the crimewave, which mostly involves foreign criminals.
“Last weekend alone, 11 Romanian nationals were arrested for pickpocketing offences in the south city centre, which shows that the problem is definitely not going away.
“If anything, these gangs have become more organised and what they are involved in can certainly be described as very lucrative,” a senior source said.
“While over 610 Romanians have been arrested, 100 people from different countries, such as Bulgaria and Algeria, have also been lifted, while the rest have been Irish,” the source added.
The 11 arrests made by Pearse Street gardai happened only days after two other major operations by officers from other areas of the capital.
Gardai from Store Street Station stopped and searched two Romanian nationals on the capital's northside, where they discovered them in possession of two stolen mobile phones.
In a follow-up operation, gardai raided a house in Whitehall where they found 23 stolen mobile phones.
A male Croatian national was arrested.