Sneak thieves are now targeting rural communities in the West while people gather at parish activities.
A spate of thefts have taken place from parked cars outside GAA pitches, a church and a public park in Co Galway in recent days, and gardai believe that a gang are choosing 'soft' targets where cars would traditionally be untouched.
The gang broke into cars parked outside GAA grounds in Ballymacward and Cappatagle in east Galway and are also believed to be behind a further incident outside a church in Kilconieron while choir practice was taking place. The thieves' haul included smartphones, handbags and satnavs.
A silver car was seen leaving at least one of the locations at speed and gardai are appealing to rural communities to be extra vigilant.