Three men were arrested in an attempted burglary at a house in Shaen, Portlaoise last Wednesday August 13.
The alarm was raised by The Heath Community Alert at around 4.30pm after the men were disturbed by a local who came upon the scene.
With the help of locals, the men were arrsted by the gardaí within fifteen minutes after the house was broken into.
The men were seen by locals making an escape from the property in the direction of the Coolbanagher area.
Gardaí were on the scene minutes later and caught the men, who were on foot.
A garda spokesperson told the Leinster Express that the men had carried out another burglary at a house in Emo the same day.
“Gardaí were alerted by the community alert as the burglary took place.
“The group consisted of two adults and one minor. They did two burglaries in one day, another one in Emo,” he told the Leinster Express.
The three men were arrested and brought to Portlaoise Station for questioning, where they were detained under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act.
They were subsequently charged and released on bail, and will be due to appear in court.
Marie Nestor, Secretary of The Heath Community Alert, said that it just goes to show the benefit of the community alert system.
“The alert message came straight away, and the local gardaí were on the scene very quickly.
“With the help of the locals, they were apprehended within fifteen minutes after the house was broken into,” Ms Nestor told the Leinster Express.
Local man Denis Lawlor was nearby when the alert was sent out, and saw the men trying to escape.
“I got on my bike and went up towards the Portarlington Road, to see if there was anything suspicious going on up there.
“Then I saw these three young lads coming out of the front garden of a house just below my own,” he said.
According to Mr Lawlor, the men didn’t appear to have any stolen goods on them.
“They didn’t seem to be carrying anything, unless they were after dumping it somewhere in a field.
“They went on down the road, and then a squad car pulled out and nabbed them around the corner,” he told the Leinster Express.
Mr Lawlor praised the community alert system, saying it worked very well in The Heath area.
“The community alert system is very good. It seems to be working quite well in The Heath area anyway,” he said.
The Heath Community Alert was set up to alert neighbours in The Heath and surrounding townslands as to any possible crime taking place, to help all members when ever required, and to look after all in the community.
The alert and alarms are activated by text message to all the locals.