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Gardai foiled crime spree at Bloom Festival

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2 Jun 2013   General view of crowds.  Bloom 2013. Phoenix Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

2 Jun 2013 General view of crowds. Bloom 2013. Phoenix Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

2 Jun 2013 General view of crowds. Bloom 2013. Phoenix Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

GARDAI foiled a criminal gang targeting visitors to the hugely popular Bloom festival.

The gang of young criminals travelled to the Phoenix Park on Sunday looking to break into cars as their owners visited the country's largest gardening, food and family event.

Some 110,000 people flocked to Bloom over the Bank Holiday weekend – smashing the previous attendance record of 90,000. The gang deliberately targeted people attending the festival and parking their vehicles in the Phoenix Park.

The five criminals were only minutes into their crime spree, but had already broken into five cars when gardai from Blanchardstown spotted them and arrested them.

Four of the young men are from the Cherry Orchard area of west Dublin, while a fourth is a member of the Travelling community based in a halting site on the Navan Road.

A senior source said: "By the time that these five individuals were arrested at 4pm on Sunday, they had already broken into five cars and stolen a number of items, particularly mobile phones and a laptop.

"These four individuals had travelled to the Phoenix Park from Ballyfermot by car – what they were doing was definitely organised and planned.

"They had only been at it a matter of minutes when they were arrested," the source added.

"Gardai managed to recover all the property except for the laptop which belonged to an unfortunate gentleman who had his college thesis stored on it.

"He was very distraught and gardai continue to actively seek the laptop."

The four Cherry Orchard men have been causing gardai major concern for years.

At least three of them are suspected of having some involvement in the notorious Ballyfermot Halloween riots in 2011, in which gardai were attacked.

All five are expected to be charged in the courts.

kfoy@herald.ie


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