Wednesday 20 March 2019

Fireman's van stolen from outside Fire Station

Vehicle is recovered across town hours later

CCTV footage shows the woman stealing the van
CCTV footage shows the woman stealing the van

Pádraig Byrne

A local fireman has been left thanking his lucky stars after his van was recovered having been stolen from outside the Fire Station in the early hours of Sunday morning. Danny Dunbar had parked his van, containing tools he had been using to do up his house, outside the station overnight and was devastated to find it was not where he left it when he returned a few hours later.

Upon checking the CCTV at the station, Danny found a woman, aged in her 50s, skulking around the station before getting into the van and driving away.

'It was 2.55 a.m. when she first got there and opened the van,' Danny said. 'Then it was 3.28 a.m. by the time she drove away. At first she tried to get in via the back of the van, which was locked. Unfortunately, there's something wrong with the lock on my van at the moment and the passenger door doesn't lock properly, so that's how she got in. She had tried to get into the station a couple of times as well, then she was kneeling at the passenger seat of the van for a while. I don't know what she was doing. Eventually then, she got into the driver's side and drove off, taking a left out of the station towards Clonroche.'

With the van containing tools of significant value, Danny was horrified by the footage and immediately shared it on social media in a bid to be reunited with the van. There was a massive reaction with countless people sharing and eventually, it brought a promising lead.

'A guy I know got in touch to say that a woman matching the description had offered him and his mates a load of energy drinks in the Shannon area at around 3.45 a.m.,' he said. 'That twigged with me because I had a load of Dragon energy drinks in the van. I went in and had a look around a few places then and eventually I found the van in the Waterfront car-park. I didn't get to have a proper look inside and the gardaí have it for forensics now, but it looks like everything is still there and there's no visible damage to the outside anyway.'

Danny says that he had also been passed on the woman's name and the fact that she was from the Bunclody area, details which he also furnished gardaí with. The van was taken for a forensic examination and he hopes to have it back in the next couple of days, while it seems an arrest will be imminent.

Meanwhile, Danny is extremely grateful to everyone who helped out by sharing his post and getting in touch.

'It goes to show the power of social media,' he said. 'If it wasn't for it, I could still be looking for the van now. There are a lot of good people out there and I even had people messaging me offering me the use of their tools and everything. I was really humbled by the response to be honest.'

Enniscorthy Guardian