A DUBLIN teenager, who was in a gang that was behind a series of letter box "fishing" burglaries which led to multiple motor thefts, has been given a 12-month sentence.
The Dublin Children's Court heard that the 17-year-old boy used bamboo sticks with a magnet or a hook taped on the end to fish out car keys through homeowners' letter boxes.
His involvement in the crime spree started days after he was placed on probation by the juvenile court for a robbery offence.
Judge John O'Connor has praised the work of gardai who had set up an operation to investigate letter box fishing burglaries in Dublin and which led to the teen's arrest.
The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, admitted burglary and motor theft-related charges.
He was arrested on May 13 last in Dunboyne, Co Meath, when he and two other males were seen getting out of a Volvo car which, along with a Volks-wagen Caddy van, had been stolen in Tallaght, Dublin, the previous day.
Garda David Harte said the youth had been arrested as he was about to get into a taxi and admitted he had been in the stolen vehicles.
Gardai recovered a "bamboo stick with a powerful magnet on top" from the stolen Volvo.
The teen also admitted other burglary and motor theft charges, after fishing out car keys from letter boxes.