Clonee estate plagued by spike in burglaries

by Gazette Reporter

A housing estate in Clonee has reported an alarming spate of house
burglaries and car thefts over the past few months.
Beechfield estate near Littlepace in Clonee has seen six house burglaries, one attempted burglary, one car theft and a number of car break-ins since July’s end.
However, these figures only represent incidents that Beechfield Residents’ Association has been made aware of.
According to the association, most of the house burglaries have been carried out by thieves using a crow bar to force open front doors.
Most of these break-ins have occurred during daylight hours, with mainly cash and jewellery being stolen. A number of these houses had home alarms, which reportedly in some cases had not been set.
Suspicious cars and individuals have been spotted in the estate, thought to be checking out cars and homes.
Sightings of these individuals are now being immediately relayed to other residents via a new WhatsApp facility set up as part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
The residents’ association has spoken to a Sergeant stationed at Blanchardstown Garda Station and written to gardai in relation to the recent spate of robberies, but has yet to receive a reply.
Kevin O’Moore, chairman Of Beechfield Residents’ Association told Blanch Gazette: “We have a community garda officer but unfortunately she’s on maternity leave, so we haven’t been kept informed of what’s happening in the area. The list of incidents isn’t a full list – we’re only aware of what residents have posted on our Facebook page or via WhatsApp. Some residents may not use social media or may want to keep incidents quiet, so I’m sure there are more. Unfortunately, gardai just don’t have the resources to deal with the problem. It has to be said though, there was one recent house burglary and gardai were at the scene in seven minutes, so when the resources are there, they are quick to respond.
“We’ve been told this is a city-wide problem; unfortunately, we’ve been hit particularly badly. Without a doubt, it’s the same guys carrying out the burglaries and car thefts each time, but again, we’ve been kept in the dark by gardai.”
When contacted by The Blanch Gazette, the garda press office stated that “all cases are being actively investigated”, though it would “not be in a position to discuss individual cases”.
The press office added that all available resources would be directed to patrolling those areas most affected, with a view to “detecting and preventing similar type criminal activity”.
Despite the recent burglaries, the Garda.ie website reports a drop of approximately 30% of domestic burglaries since Operation Thor was launched in November 2015. Gardai do advise, however, that burglaries traditionally rise in winter time, with almost half occurring between the hours of 5pm and 11pm, and urge the public to be extra vigilant.
As posted on the Garda website, homeowners are advised to turn on lights in the home; use timer switches; lock all doors and windows; use an alarm; store keys away from windows and letterboxes and not to store large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.
Beechfield Residents’ Association has reassured residents that through its Facebook page, its new WhatsApp facility and through greater vigilance, these incidents will be kept to a minimum. In raising the issue, Beechfield Residents’ Association did not wish to tarnish the good name of the estate, which has up until recently remained quiet and crime-free.
Any incidents or reports of suspicious activity can be reported to Blanchardstown Garda Station at: 016667000.

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