We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shutterstock/Alejandro J. de Parga
pickpocket gangs

Gardaí launch crackdown on Dublin city centre 'distraction thefts'

There has been an increase in so-called ‘distraction thefts’ in the capital.

GARDAÍ IN DUBLIN city centre have launched a crackdown against a pickpocket gang operating in the capital, The Journal has learned. 

It comes after officers based around the northside of the city noticed a significant increase in the number of so- called distraction thefts. 

These thefts can come in several different forms but usually one person gets your attention and asks you for help with something while another steals your belongings while you are not paying full attention. 

Intelligence operations carried out by garda units suggested that these crimes were being carried out by an organised group of pickpockets.

Members of the Crime Prevention Unit at Store Street station identified one person as a predominant figure within the group who was at the time in custody on other unrelated matters.

Last month, the main suspect was released from prison and was immediately arrested by gardaí in relation to offences involving thefts from persons in the city centre.

The suspect was interviewed in relation to a number of separate pickpocketing offences and made several admissions.

Enquiries are ongoing to identify the accused’s accomplices and gardaí are preparing an investigation file for the DPP.

Garda and detective units are continuing to carry out both uniformed and undercover operations in a bid to track down and stop these thefts.

Dublin Commissioner Anne Marie Cagney said: “This incident is an example of An Garda Síochána’s relentless commitment and dedication to identifying on a daily basis those involved in pickpocketing in Dublin City and establishing where such offences are part of organised crime.

An Garda Síochána will continue to effectively tackle these individuals and organised gangs intent on targeting vulnerable members of the public in this crime type.