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€14M WORTH OF GOODS ARE stolen IN JUST SIX MONTHS

BURGLARS have made off with €14m worth of goods in only six months, new garda figures have revealed.

With 30pc of burglaries taking place between 5pm and 8pm, householders have been urged to ensure their properties look occupied.

Criminals snatched €7.7m of jewellery and €3m in cash, with 100 vehicles stolen after the keys were "fished" through the letterbox, in the last six months of 2013, according to gardai.

The details emerged as part of the force's national crime prevention awareness day.

"There's a simple thing people can do to protect their homes. If you're away, get a timer switch to put on your lights so they come on in those hours," said Sgt Kelvin Courtney of the Garda's National Crime Prevention Unit.

OPPORTUNIST

"A burglar is an opportunist. If they're walking by a number of houses, they'll pick the house that's easiest to go to," he said.

Around 24,000 break-ins take place every year, with thieves gaining access through an unlocked door or window in 20pc of cases.

Sgt Courtney said: "As the weather gets warmer, burglaries increasingly take place through unsecured doors and windows.

"They're not necessarily targeting your 42-inch television, they're targeting small goods that they can take away, easily concealed, and that they can get rid of as soon as possible."

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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