Gang on loose

Lack of evidence and daily changing number plates is making it difficult for Abbeyleix gardai to stop a crime wave spreading across South Laois, a garda told a packed public meeting in Durrow last week.

Lack of evidence and daily changing number plates is making it difficult for Abbeyleix gardai to stop a crime wave spreading across South Laois, a garda told a packed public meeting in Durrow last week.

Durrow-based Garda Eamon O’Connor told a public meeting in Durrow that detectives in Abbeyleix suspected who was involved in the recent burglaries, but had been unable to trace any evidence at the scenes so far.

“We know there is a particular gang involved but they are changing their number plates every day. There has been no evidence found at the scenes either,” he said.

He urged people if they seen a car without number plates on it to report it straight away.

“The Abbeyleix car will go out straight away or if that’s not available, I’ll go out in my own car,” he told the large attendance.

Garda O’Connor told the meeting that the cars used by the burglars were also changeable, although they were currently looking for a blue honda accord.

“The cars are so changeable. They would take cars and burn them in the morning. Its a blue honda accord at the minute. We don’t have the number plates either because they are changing every day.”

Over 300 people turned out for a public meeting in Durrow, expressing their concern at the recent spate of break-ins in the area.

The meeting scheduled for the Presentation Hall, had to be moved to the Church next door shortly after it began, as only a fraction of the attendance could fit into the hall.

Garda O’Connor also appealed for people to let them know where elderly or vulnerable people lived and to supply the local station with directions to where they lived, particularly in rural areas, so they would be able to get there quicker in an emergency.

He encouraged people to be alert if they are out walking, and said that alarms were a huge deterrent.

“Last week we had an incident where an intruder got in through one door, but didn’t get in through the second door because the alarm went off.”

Noel McCarthy, Community Alert Development Officer with Muintir na Tire, told the huge attendance it was an ideal opportunity to beef up areas of the community alert that needed it.