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Crime gang the chief suspects for nationwide burglary wave of more than 200 break-ins in two months


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A Dublin crime gang has emerged as the chief suspects for a nationwide burglary wave which has seen over 200 break-ins in the past two months.

A major cross-border investigation is underway into the mob who have been targeting homeowners in the north-west of the country.

Detectives believe they are being carried out by a south Dublin crime gang who have used two specific cars for over 200 burglaries in counties including Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, and Galway in the past 10 weeks.

Gardaí have identified a Ford Focus and a Santa Fe the mob use for their crime spree with the registration plates regularly changed to avoid detection.

A source told Independent.ie: "This crew are suspected of carrying out over 200 burglaries in the northern region in the past two-and-a-half months.

"They normally target properties between 6pm and 9pm and have used violence during their crimes. Burglaries have dropped massively due to checkpoints and more gardaí being sent to sub-districts during the Covid-19 pandemic, but this has changed in recent months with less resources in rural areas.

"There have also been other some bizarre incidents. On one occasion they fed the cat of the homeowner they were burgling. Another time they ate the chocolates and left the empty wrappers out. But despite this they are a highly efficient and dangerous crew," the source added.

One crime they are linked to is the aggravated burglary of an elderly woman's home in Sligo over the weekend in which jewellery, a handbag containing cash, and a mobile phone were stolen.

In an effort to clampdown on the gang gardaí in the area have established extra garda checkpoints and are carrying out anti-burglary patrols.

Garda intelligence has linked a crime gang led by two brothers from the south Dublin area as the chief suspects for the recent crime wave.

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Gardaí are also liaising with the PSNI to stop the gang who have links to a wider mob of about 30 associates involved in cross-border burglaries.

Criminals linked to this 'Dirty Thirty' have been investigated for break-ins in Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone, Armagh and Down in recent years.

Several raiders have been arrested by the PSNI or gardaí over a cross-border burglary crime wave, and it is feared they are becoming active again.

The gang also includes a Tallaght teenager suspected of involvement in a Tyrone break-in that the PSNI are treating as an attempted murder.

An 83-year-old woman was left fighting for her life after a gang broke into her home during a series of raids in the town of Aughnacloy in 2018.

Following cooperation between the PSNI and gardaí, several young Dublin burglars, including the teenage thug, emerged as the chief suspects.

Another key associate of the gang is suspected of fencing stolen high-end jewellery on behalf of the mob.

The 25-year-old, from Tallaght, was previously jailed after being caught trying to pawn nearly €100,000 worth of jewellery stolen by the gang.

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