‘Prisoners in own home’
A PORTLAOISE couple claim they have become prisoners in their home after a number of break-ins at their property.
David and Phyllis Clegg, who live on the Borris Road claim criminals have “a free hand” in Portlaoise, as Garda resources were so strecthed last weekend, they were unable to attend the scene.
Last weekend, a number of items to the value of €10,000 were taken from a shed in their yard.
The couple explained: “A gang broke through a padlocked gate, gained entry to a yard where they broke the padlock on a shed and stole a Westwood commercial-type double-axle trailer, a ride-on lawnmower and a pair of heavy hand-made iron gates to fit a 16 foot entrance.”
When the Cleggs discovered the robbery on Friday morning, they claimed they were told that gardaí could not attend the scene as there was one patrol car in Portlaoise and that was busy at the time. They say they were advised that they could call the following morning.
“As the day progressed and we gained some additional pieces of information, I tried all afternoon to phone the garda station. There was no reply between 2pm and 6pm,” Mr Clegg said. “Eventually a personal call to the station by the owner resulted in the same information – only one car available, and forensics would probably call the following day. Up to 2pm on Saturday and no sign of forensics or guards to take statements.
The Cleggs have experienced a number of other incidents, including three break ins to their dwelling where cash was stolen and on the last occasion, extensive damage done to the house.
They claim they are now in a position where they will be making extreme arrangements to protect their home and belongings.
“Complex logistical arrangements are also in place to ensure that there is always someone at home. In effect we have become prisoners in their own home,” they said.
A spokesperson for Portlaoise Garda Station said the Clegg’s initital call to the station on Friday morning was sent to a car, but they were busy at the time of the call and unable to respond.
“One of the crew from the car obtained the pertinent information and this was circulated. In these situations we are anxious to get the information spread far and wide.”
The spokesperon said an undertaking was given to visit the Clegg’s before 5pm that evening. He said a guard called to the Clegg’s at around 4.30pm that evening, but there was no one at home.
The Garda spokesperson denied that a lack of resources was the reason there was no one available to call to the burglary that morning.
“There was a number of burglaries on Friday evening. You can have all the resources in the world, but when there is that level of demand, it’s not always possible to get there immediately. But we will spread the details and this matter will be investigated fully,” he said.
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Weather for Portlaoise
Tuesday 21 May 2013
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