12 Aug 2022

Thief 'came prepared' to take sign from active community alert village in Laois

A thief or thieves 'came prepared' with tools to steal a sign advertising a community walk from its stand on the side of the road in Ballacolla according to the Community Alert Chairperson.

The Woodenbridge Community Alert group erected a sign advertising their upcoming CCTV project walk fundraiser last Thursday. The sign slotted into a tourism frame on the outskirts of the village.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, April 17 the sign was stolen from the frame it was enclosed in by a person or people who brought a spanner to remove the bolts holding the sign together. 

The sign was located on the Durrow Road, Ballacolla and it was an advertisement for the upcoming Woodenbridge Community Alert CCTV Project Walk fundraiser.

Chairperson of Woodenbridge Community Alert, Michael G Phelan, said the sign is of no use to anyone else. 

"I talked to gardai about it and they have logged it in their system. It is of no value to anybody, nobody could use it anywhere else. The walk is on to raise a few bob for the cameras. We would nearly want a camera over the sign for the cameras. 

"It was just this one they took, there are signs in four other locations," he said. 

Mr Phelan agreed that the theft could have been done by someone who did not agree with the CCTV camera project in the community. 

"It could be someone sending out a message, someone not liking the cameras," he said.

The frame holding the sign will cost €250 to replace and the sign that was stolen had cost the group €60.

The fundraising walk on Sunday will contribute to the running costs of CCTV in the area which is a project taken on by the community to try and prevent this kind crime.

Written on the sign were the details of the Blueway community walk on Sunday where Ear to the Ground presenter Helen Carroll will lead the walk and conversations. Helen's face was on the sign which was stolen.

Anyone with information should contact Abbeyleix Garda Station 057 87 31202.

The walk takes place on Sunday, April 22 starting 2pm from the Woodenbridge with registration from 1.15pm.

For information contact 0872395357.

A large crowd is expected to take part in the fundraiser. 

'Red tape' and data control causes two year delay for Laois community CCTV.

RTÉ Ear to the Ground presenter supports Laois crime prevention fundraising walk.

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