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South Dublin burglary gang targets new areas following 45-second garda response time to attempted robbery

Gardaí based in Dun Laoghaire have made significant ground against the organised crime group

Image: Shutterstock/sdecoret

TWO BURGLARY GANGS targeting affluent areas of south Dublin have been forced to widen the areas from which they steal after a serious garda crackdown, TheJournal.ie has learned.

In recent weeks, gardaí based in Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) East have made significant ground against the organised crime group following intelligence supplied to its burglary units.

A new drugs unit established in DMR East in September 2017 has also helped increase the amount of intelligence gathering by officers in the district.

The increased pressure was most visible last Wednesday afternoon. A member of the public spotted two men attempting to break into a property in the Crosthwaite Park area of Dun Laoghaire and notified police. Within 45 seconds of the call going in, three units of gardaí had arrived at the scene.

The two men had ran up the Glenageary hill towards Sallynoggin when they were stopped by police.

Despite the phone call, gardaí were unable to make any arrests as the men had no stolen  goods on their person. However, the two men were very well-known to officers in the burglary units.

Informed sources have told TheJournal.ie that the criminals are aware of the added pressure on them and that officers expect the gangs to move to areas they may not have targeted previously.

Previously burgled areas include: Dun Laoghaire, Monkstown, Sallynoggin, Cabinteely, Shankill, Killiney, Dalkey, Blackrock, Stillorgan and Clonskeagh.

Latest garda figures have shown that burglary rates nationwide have reduced dramatically in the last two months of the year thanks to Operation Thor  – a nationwide crackdown on thefts from the home.

However, the two Dun Laoghaire gangs continue to burgle.

A number of pubs in the areas have also been burgled in recent months. It is thought that these robberies were ordered by a senior criminal figure who has ties to remnants of the IRA which are still active in the Dun Laoghaire area.

On Friday, an Operation Thor operation targeting Wicklow criminals resulted in:

  • Five people were arrested on bench warrants
  • Two people were arrested for theft offences
  • One person was arrested for handling stolen property
  • One person was arrested for domestic violence
  • Two people were arrested for burglary
  • Five premises were searched

Late last year, we reported that a garda operation designed to provide high visibility policing which was used, in part, to target two burglary gangs in south Dublin was brought to an end by Garda management – much to the frustration of officers in the district.

Operation Imeacht, which had been running from Dun Laoghaire Garda Station, was stopped in December.

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The local operation meant that a number of extra patrols were sanctioned to help fight the number of burglaries and public order incidents in the south Dublin suburb.

Two gangs, one based in Monkstown and the other in Dun Laoghaire itself, were the main targets.

Detectives in the area had pinpointed that these repeat offenders were most likely behind an increase in thefts from surrounding areas like Killiney and Cabinteely.

When asked if An Garda Síochána believed that it had adequate resources in place to tackle burglary in south Dublin, a garda spokesman said:

“Operation Thor is still ongoing within the DMR East and across all Garda Divisions. Along with district detective units, a Burglary Response Unit continues to operate in the division.

“A local competition is currently underway to increase numbers assigned to this unit.  Additionally, a newly formed divisional drugs unit was established in the DMR East in September 2017.

In relation to Operation Imeacht, this was a separate and local operation developed to provide additional ‘Hi-Visibility Policing’ at targeted locations with high levels of footfall and public order hotspots and had reached the end of its cycle. All operations conducted in the DMR East are continuously reviewed by local Garda management to ensure their effectiveness.

Read: Dun Laoghaire burglary gangs ‘have joined forces’ to target upmarket areas of south Dublin >

Read: Gardaí fear burglary gangs will have ‘free rein’ in south Dublin after extra patrols stop >

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