A Dublin based travelling criminal gang that target the midlands is believed to be behind a spate of recent burglaries in Laois and Kilkenny which started with the theft of car registration plates in Portlaoise.
Gardai in Portlaoise confirmed local reports of a series of incidents in the Durrow, Johnstown and Urlingford areas over the weekend of January 5 and 6.
Lalor’s shop in Durrow was broken into the early hours of Sunday morning and a quantity of cigarettes was taken.
Oliver Stanley’s filling station in Durrow and Bergin’s filling station in Cullahill were also broken into but it is understood that nothing was taken.
Break-ins were also reported in Johnstown and Urlingford in Co Kilkenny on the same night before the gang was disturbed by a garda patrol car in the area. It is understood they fled in the direction of Dublin.
Gardaí have said that three men are believed to be involved.
Registration plates were stolen from the Portlaoise area and used on a grey/silver Audi car to carry out these break-ins. The car was later seen at the M7 toll heading in the Dublin direction.
People in Durrow were left shaken by the incidents.
Gardaí said there was no truth in local claims that the gang was staying at a hotel in Durrow.
Anyone with information should contact Portlaoise garda station (057) 867 4100.