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Gardaí probe boiler suit-wearing gang who use new technology to steal high-end cars

The men were captured on CCTV leaving a property in Portmarnock last month.

Image: Shutterstock/Gitanna

GARDAI IN NORTH Dublin probing a spate of car thefts are investigating claims that two men dressed in what appeared to be boiler suits were carrying out the crimes using a new type of technology which allows easy access to vehicles.

The men were captured on CCTV leaving a property in Portmarnock last month. It appeared that they were wearing white boiler suits. They stole a vehicle which had been newly bought by a family just weeks previously. 

A garda spokesperson also confirmed that officers are investigating an incident of car theft in the Portmarnock area where it was claimed the boiler suit wearing men struck. 

Investigations are ongoing.

The vehicle was taken using a method known as ‘relay theft’. 

Relay theft

Many new cars now have electronic signals which send a message to the car to communicate that the key and the car are close to each other. These signals enable the car to be unlocked. 

Two thieves are usually required for a robbery involving ‘relay theft’. One will circle the house with what is known as a ‘repeater’, which will pick up the real signal emitting from the key.

This signal is then passed to a bogus key which is held by someone standing by the car. The signal then travels to the bogus key and the thieves are able to access and start the vehicle. Most newer cars are fitted with this type of new of key. 

Gardaí believe that in this latest case, they are looking for two men with extensive criminal histories. This is due to the fact they were wearing what appeared to be boiler suits, which could potentially protect them from leaving any DNA. Officers believe that the men’s DNA profiles may have previously been taken.

Stolen vehicles

Around 20 vehicles have been stolen from the Portmarnock and Malahide areas of north Dublin since the middle of June. 

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Many of the vehicles have been written off by joyriders. However, gardaí believe that the more expensive vehicles are being brought north of the border where they are either stripped for parts or sold on. 

It is believed that while some homes are broken into or signal relay is used, on other occasions a method known as fishing is used. This is where the car keys are fished from a location inside the house, through the letterbox by using a specially adapted rod.

In one incident in the Sutton area last month, two cars were stolen from outside a house using this method.

Gardaí confirmed those incidents to TheJournal.ie.

A spokeswoman said: “A burglary occurred at Bayside Square North, Sutton in the early hours of this morning Friday, 28 June, 2019 and the keys to two cars were taken from the house and the cars then stolen.”

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