Gardai call for owners to claim €200k of gems

Ken Foy, Crime correspondent

GARDAI are trying to trace the owners of jewellery worth €200,000 believed to be taken in a number of burglaries.

The jewellery was found when gardai in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, raided a business premises late last month.

The haul includes watches, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, wedding rings and a designer belt.

The collection is believed to be linked to a series of burglaries. It is understood that gardai are trying to trace the owners in a bid to link the jewellery to specific burglaries.

"Investigating gardai are anxious to return this property to its owner. We believe there may be a number of injured parties involved," he said.

More than 120 photographs of the jewellery have been posted on the website. Gardai are now hoping people will recognise their property and contact them.

No arrests were made during the garda raid but the investigation is ongoing.

Much of the jewellery that was recovered was gold and sources believe that the gang responsible for the burglaries had planned to sell some of the loot to cash-for-gold retail businesses.

Senior gardai have expressed deep concern about cash-for-gold businesses that have sprung up in Ireland during the recession and they say they have contributed to a massive spike in burglaries.

According to the latest CSO figures, there was an 8pc rise (from 72 to 78) in aggravated burglaries and a 5pc increase (from 143 to 150) in possession of an article with intent to burgle for the second quarter (April-June) of this year, compared to the same period last year.

If anyone recognises their jewellery on the garda website a viewing can be arranged by contacting the detective unit at Dun Laoghaire garda station on 01 6665000.