Stash of stolen car parts found after gardai target gang
AN 'Aladdin's Cave' of stolen car parts has been uncovered by gardai after a raid targeting a major crime gang.
Hundreds of thousands of euro worth of stolen cars and car parts were seized in the swoop on a warehouse in Co Meath.
The haul has been described by a senior garda as "one of the most significant in the past 12 months".
Three middle-aged men were arrested and charged under the Criminal Justice, Theft and Fraud Offences Act with handling a stolen vehicle. Further charges are expected in the coming weeks.
The men were questioned by gardai before being released on bail pending court appearances later this month.
All are considered senior figures in the gang, which, along with two other crime syndicates, accounts for the majority of car thefts in the greater Dublin area.
Following the arrests, gardai experienced an immediate and noticeable decrease in levels of recorded car crime.
Officers from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation carried out the raid on an isolated warehouse near Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, last week.
The gang used the warehouse to run a legitimate car-parts business as a front for its activities by selling goods online and through magazines.
Hundreds of parts from 18 separate cars were seized by gardai in the raid. They also recovered one complete vehicle that the gang had not yet dismantled.
Criminals are typically paid €1,000 for every stolen car they deliver. But once dismantled, the parts from a family saloon can easily net higher-up members of a gang €10,000.
Any parts containing serial numbers that could be traced to a stolen vehicle had been dumped by the gang.
They had also disposed of all but one of the engines from the stolen cars.