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Gardai warn over 'fishing' as seven car thefts probed

GARDAI are investigating a spate of car robberies in leafy Castleknock.

In at least two instances, criminals used the so-called "fishing" technique.

Officers based at Blanchardstown garda station are dealing with seven cars being stolen in the space of just 24 hours up until the early hours of yesterday morning.

Areas that have been targeted by the criminals include Carpenterstown, Luttrellstown, Warrenstown and Clonee.

No arrests have been made yet and none of the cars have been recovered.

LINKS

Sources say that gardai are investigating links between some of the robberies.

"There is definitely a link between some of these crimes," a source said.

The 'fishing' technique got its name because it involves criminals attaching a magnet to the end of a fishing rod or long wooden pole, pushing it through letterboxes and using it to remove car keys left behind locked doors.

Stealing the keys renders high-tech alarm systems redundant and allows crooks to drive the car away without alerting the owner.

Gardai say motorists can eliminate the risk of falling victim to the scam simply by keeping their keys well away from their front door.

However, criminals have also been known to break into houses and steal vehicle keys from inside the property.

Sources have pointed out that not all seven instances of car theft involved the 'fishing' technique.

"More traditional methods of robbing the cars happened as well, such as hot wiring," a source said.

Gardai are now investigating if a new gang involved in 'fishing' has emerged in the Blanchardstown and Finglas areas after a criminal who was prolific in that type of crime was sent to prison last year.

Serial car thief Matthew Fahey's gang was linked to using fishing rods and magnets to steal more than 100 high-powered cars across the country in a series of robberies.

STEALING

Last March, at Dublin Circuit Court, Fahey who was previously jailed for six years for stealing cars, pleaded guilty to theft of a set of car keys for a Volkswagen Passat from Derek Burton Garage in Kilpeddar, Co Wicklow on January 29, 2010.

He also pleaded guilty to burglary of Ryan's Garage, Main Street, Blanchardstown on August 8, 2010.

Fahey pleaded guilty to further counts of driving a stolen Toyota Corolla as well as possession of a number of stolen items that had been taken during the course of a burglary.

kfoy@herald.ie


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