The gardaí are warning people of the dangers of the expected cold snap, with appeals going out to check on elderly neighbours as well as advice on securing home heating oil from opportunistic thieves.
The advice is going out after an isolated rural post office in the mountains near the Carlow border was the scene of a burglary on Friday evening, November 28.
A garda spokesperson has confirmed that the premises known locally as “Bilbo’s post office” was broken into and ransacked some time between 7 and 10pm. The elderly owner of the building has yet to confirm whether anything was taken in the incident.
The spokesperson has urged people in rural areas to check on their elderly or vulnerable neighbours now that the cold weather is upon us, and ensure that those more susceptible to the elements at this time of year have enough fuel to keep them warm.
An initiative is being run by the gardaí in conjunction with Laois County Council and Civil Defence, to ensure that adequate supports are in place for the vulnerable this winter. If anyone has any concerns for anyone in their area, they can ring the gardaí with contact details of the vulnerable person and the details will be added to the list.
With the cold weather upon us and people storing up on home heating oil, the warning is also going out to make sure tanks are kept locked and secured to prevent thefts.
The gardaí have confirmed that a substantial amount of oil was taken from a premises in Meelick, Portarlington, between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
A garda spokesperson has urged the public to call their local garda station if they spot any suspicious vehicles in their area, or any suspicious activity.
“We need the eyes and the ears of the people,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson has said that “travelling criminals” are coming into the county from all over the country, and people are urged to call the gardaí if they see any suspicious cars in their area.
If anyone wishes to avail of services supporting the elderly or vulnerable, or if anyone spots anything suspicious in their local community, they can call the Portlaoise Garda Station on 05786 74100.