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16 Jan 2022

Catalytic converter stolen from car parked at Laois train station

catalytic converter being removed from car

Catalytic converter

A pricey catalytic converter was stolen from a car parked at at Laois train station recently, with Garda reports that Laois burglars have switched from houses to cars since the pandemic.

The impact of people staying at home during Covid reduced house burglaries in Laois earlier this year, but the criminals moved to cars instead, the Laois Garda Chief has said.

There were zero aggravated burglaries between January and April recorded in Laois, and 26 burglaries. That compared to two and fifty respectively in the same period in 2020.

However crimes of interfering with the mechanism of a vehicle rose from 2 to 15.

One of those may have been the theft of a catalytic converter from a car that was parked at Ballybrophy Train Station, reported by Cllr John King.

“It was parked there for the day. Thankfully the owner is covered by insurance but only for the first event, not if it happens again, he said.

He spoke at the quarterly Joint Policing Committee meeting where Laois Chief Superintendent John Scanlan gave the latest crime statistics for Laois, covering the first four months of 2021.

“Overall property crime is down 23%, We have had the privilege of being out and about in numbers, but it’s a combination of everything. Criminals are finding it difficult operate. We are interdicting them at checkpoints, we are fortunate in Laois, we have had huge cooperation from the general public. People are being vigilant.

“One has to acknowledge that people are in their homes so the homes are not as vulnerable to burglaries. But where every other opportunity to steal has been taken away, what is left is cars that are parked, they’ll take money or whatever they can get their hands on. 

“But we have solved 12 of the 15 of them. We know who they are and they’re before the courts,” Chief Supt Scanlan said.

Robbery from a person rose from zero to five crimes. 

“We know who the perpetrators are and they are all either before the courts or files are at an advanced stage of preparation to bring those people to court so they are all solved with the exception of one of the five,” he said.

Theft (other) halved from 60 to 30. Theft from a vehicle dropped from 39 to 30. Theft from a shop had little change, from 49 to 50 incidents. 

“This is complicated by everyone wearing masks. Some non-locals are coming here to visit this town in particular, they do their shopping but they don’t don’t pay for it. We have had difficulties in identifying some of them,” Chief Supt Scanlan said.

The unauthorised taking of a bicycle went from five to six crimes. Unauthorised taking of a vehicle dropped from nine to five. 

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