Keep valuables under lock and key - gardaí

THEFTS continue to be a problem across the county, according to crime figures released by senior gardaí at the recent meeting of the Laois County Joint Policing Committee, with thefts from cars increasing by 41 percent for the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2012.

THEFTS continue to be a problem across the county, according to crime figures released by senior gardaí at the recent meeting of the Laois County Joint Policing Committee, with thefts from cars increasing by 41 percent for the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2012.

Speaking in County Hall last week, Chief Supt John Scanlon remarked that “the fine weather doesn’t help thefts from vehicles”, as he revealed that the figure has risen from 41 over the first three months of 2012 to 58 in 2013.

“Everybody can resist anything but temptation, so we’re asking people not to leave valuable items on show,” he said. “Put property under lock and key.”

Thefts from the person have risen by one since last year, up from five to six, while thefts from shops have also increased slightly, from 46 in the first quarter of 2012 to 49 this quarter.

Responding to the figures, Cllr Brian Stanley encouraged community alert groups to be established in all areas. His suggestion was taken up by Cllr Paul Mitchell, who proposed that community alert groups should be set up in towns as well as rural areas.

Cllr Mitchell went on to warn the committee that he had heard of thieves managing to evade detection by wearing suits when they go burgling houses.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom, as burglary figures have taken a dip from the first quarter of 2012, down to 149 from 181. Aggravated burglaries have fallen by a whopping 300 per cent, although this represents a very small number of just one aggravated burglary so far this year compared to four for the same period last year.

Theft of other property has also risen, up from 103 to 139, while handling stolen property has dropped, from five cases to two so far in 2013.