Two separate burglaries of the homes of elderly people and the theft of copper from a school were among a number of burglaries which took place across the county in the last few weeks.
On Saturday, October 26, at around 2.30am, the home of an 86-year-old man was broken into at Ballymullen, Errill. The man was at home at the time, but was not disturbed by the intruders. The culprits left with a small sum of money, and gardaí are continuing their investigations.
More recently, on Sunday, November 3, a 78-year-old man was accosted outside his home in Castlequarter, Ballybrophy, by two women and a man. The three culprits entered the man’s house and searched it, but nothing was taken.
Alarmingly, the incident happened in broad daylight, at around 12.30pm. The women were in their early 20s and a dark blue vehicle may have been involved. Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses, especially anyone who may have seen a dark blue vehicle in the area at that time.
Elsewhere, the national school in Ballyfin was broken into some time between October 30 and October 31. There are currently ongoing construction works at the school and the thieves stole a quantity of copper from the site.
Gardaí have confirmed that there was a burglary at around 7pm on November 1, in the Ashgrove estate of Mountmellick. A vacant house was broken into and a small number of items were taken.
There is also an unconfirmed report that a number of tools were stolen from a van parked in Ashgrove on the morning of November 1. Among the items allegedly taken were tile cutters, saws, a plainer, a sander, a tool bag full of tools, a cordless drill, transformers, extension leads and socket sets. Gardaí could not confirm this incident when contacted by the Leinster Express.
And a burglary took place some time over last weekend (November 2 - November 4) at a builders yard in Blandsfort, Ballyroan. A large quantity of items were taken, including power tools. Garda inquiries are ongoing.
If anyone has any information on any of these incidents, they are asked to contact the Portlaoise Garda Station on 05786 74100.