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Swoop on top 30 burglars as gardai eye up 40 more

THIRTY of Dublin’s most prolific burglars have been arrested in a Garda operation.

The crackdown came as the number of break-ins across the city soared and gardai revealed the thieves are now using ever more sophisticated methods.

In the capital, detectives have identified 60 men as responsible for the bulk of break-ins.

In the past 10 days, 30 of them have been arrested and many are already before the courts, in an operation codenamed Acer.

Nationwide, around 300 burglars are being targeted in the operation.

Blitz

Operation Acer is part of a national blitz on property crime.

The overall crackdown is named Fiacla, with a different codename for each regional operation.

Dublin has been blitzed by an “epidemic” of robberies in recent weeks which has left families and businesses on high alert.

Officers meanwhile are grappling to deal with burglars using advanced technology known as ‘jamming'. This allows them to completely disable monitored alarm systems.

It has emerged that thieves are using the devices to block burglary alarms and phone signals before carrying out raids on homes and businesses.

Burglary “hotspots” in all parts of the country have been identified and are getting extra patrols.

The Garda traffic corps has also been drafted in to play a significant role in the operation, with culprits being monitored by helicopter.

Investigators are building substantial files on individual targets, with the cases then being fed to a central |co-ordinating centre.

Travelling gangs are being monitored closely; gardai suspect them to be responsible for a number of high-level burglaries.

A significant number of the travelling gangs have set up a base in Dublin, with many |on the Southside moving |into the counties of |Wicklow and Kildare in an attempt to avoid detection.

The culprits use high-powered and expensive cars which are parked up in garages by day and then brought out at night to carry out the burglaries.

Surveillance

More than half of the most prolific burglars in Dublin have appeared before the courts as a result of Operation Fiacla, with a further 40 being placed under close surveillance.

The operation has already achieved significant decreases in burglaries in the capital and other areas.

By building strong individual files, the Garda's hand is strengthened when the case is brought before the courts.

Gardai attempt to ensure suspects are charged with multiple crimes before being prosecuted in one court sitting.

With a strong case file, gardai are more likely to succeed in objecting against bail.

hnews@herald.ie


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