Thirty arrested in crackdown on burglary gangs
More than 30 people have been arrested as part of a major Garda crackdown on burglary targets in Co Waterford.
A two-day operation, involving local officers supported by armed units, was carried out as part of an initiative to disrupt burglars and theft suspects operating in the county.
In total 18 people were arrested while a further 13 have been detained on foot of warrants. Waterford gardaí searched seven premises as part of Operation Storm with three vehicles seized as part of the investigation.
More than 120 gardaí took part in the operation, which included members from the Waterford Garda Division, officers from the Armed Support Unit, and students from the Garda College, Templemore.
The operation also focused on intercepting criminals in the Waterford garda district who were operating in certain areas across the country. A number of extra high-visibility checkpoints and patrols were deployed in what gardaí said was a move to prevent further crime.
In total 24 checkpoints were rolled out with further arrests expected in relation to the ongoing garda initiative.
"Crime prevention leaflets were handed out to members of the public to increase awareness of protection of personal property and possessions," a Garda spokesman said.
One person still remains at large after 14 warrants were executed, with 13 people arrested. A suspected drug dealer was detained on suspicion of being in possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of sale or supply, while a further six people were detained after being caught in possession of drugs for personal use.
A Garda spokesman added: "This crime operation commenced on February 6 and 7, 2018. It featured arrests and detentions against all active burglary and theft criminals in the Waterford District.
"The offences for which persons have been arrested include thefts, assaults, criminal damage, robbery, burglaries and S15 MDA (Misuse of Drugs Act)," the spokesman said.
Last June some 34 people were arrested following a similar operation by Waterford gardaí.
In that instance, a three-day initiative named Project Storm led to 73 checkpoints being rolled out across the county to detect and disrupt criminal groups operating in the area.