Gardaí issue warning after spate of thefts in North Cork
Gardaí have urged the public to be on their guard following a noticeable spike in the number of robberies from business and private homes across the North Cork region over recent days.
Gardaí believe the incidents in Doneraile, Mallow, Mitchelstown, Buttevant and Charleville may be linked to a robbery at a shop in Abbeydorney, Co Kerry in the early hours of Monday morning during which cash and cigarettes were taken.
It is understood four males were seen exiting the premises before making their getaway in a dark coloured car.
Gardaí believe these may be linked to a number of similar incidents in the North Kerry and South Limerick area over the past week.
Last Saturday a house in the Castle Heights area of Mallow as broken into in broad daylight between 1.30pm and 2.10pm when the owners were away.
Fermoy-based crime prevention officer Sgt John Kelly said the house was alarmed and a monitoring station alerted the owners who rushed back to the house but not before a number of items had been stolen.
"Were it not for the fact that the alarm was activated, it is likely the thieves would have gotten away with a lot more items," said Sgt Kelly.
"In this particular incident a charcoal grey Volkswagen with a 182 D registration plate was seen acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the break-in."
Sgt John Kelly said Gardaí were also keen to trace a black Peugeot hatchback car with a Waterford number plate that was seen in the vicinity of another break-in at a house in Doneraile on Tuesday afternoon between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.
"The car is distinctive, it had a large spoiler and noisy exhaust which drew the attention of people," said Sgt Kelly.
Two houses were also broken into in the Park Road area of Charleville during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Sgt Kelly said a dark coloured VW Golf with a 16 or 18 registration plate was spotted in the vicinity around the time of the break-ins.
Sgt Kelly appealed to anyone who may have key information that could help track down those behind the thefts to pass it on to Gardaí.
"We believe that all of these incidents may well be linked to the same gang of opportunist criminals who, in the run up to Christmas, are scouting out towns and villages across the region looking for easy pickings," said Sgt Kelly.
"Our advice to people would be to ensure their homes and premises are secured, alarms where installed are turned on and if they spot any suspicious activity report it immediately to their local Garda station or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111."