Be active, be alert and be involved, was the message to Ballyroan residents at the launch of their community alert, last week.
Noel McCarthy, community alert development officer with Muintir na Tire encouraged the locals to be extra vigilant. He encouraged people to contact the local gardai if they saw any suspicious activities and to note description of cars, number plates and people.
Mr McCarthy said the theft of cars and the burglaries had lead to the community setting up the community alert group.
Cllr Mary Sweeney, who is secretary of the committee, said people had become concerned after a couple of robberies and car thefts in the area.
Garda Sergeant Joe Culleton from Abbeyleix Garda Station said vigilance is key.
“We are only too delighted to get calls, its better to be dealing with a false alarm than a burglary,” he said.
Sgt Culleton recalled an incident in Durrow recently, where the quick thinking of a local taxi driver had possibly prevented a bigger crime.
He said people were travelling the roads looking for scrap metal. The Abbeyleix sergeant said these people did not ask, but just loaded up. .
“Move it to a less visible place or sell it yourself,” he advised.
Sgt Culleton said heating oil was targetted in rural areas. Its theft is hard to prove so he encouraged prevention.
“Think about the location of your tank - is it visible or accessible and consider moving it to a more secure location,” he told the meeting in Ballyroan Community hall.