Gardai suspect same gang behind many Dublin 15 break-ins

by Sylvia Pownall

Gardai investigating a spate of burglaries in Dublin 15 suspect the break-ins are the work of the same criminal gang.

A number of homes in the Castleknock area were targeted on New Year’s Eve and burglaries have been reported in the wider D15 area in the first week of 2020 at an alarming rate of up to 15 properties per night.

Officers probing the break-ins, one of which was captured on CCTV footage, believe a crime gang from Eastern Europe is behind the robberies.

Video stills from one house, which show two men with their faces covered breaking in via the front door, have been widely shared on social media.

The footage shows the men driving up to the property in a Mercedes A Class compact saloon, leading detectives to believe they are using luxury vehicles to keep a low profile in affluent areas.

Officers also believe based on the size of the getaway vehicle that the gang is targeting car keys, cash and other small portable valuables such as jewellery, mobile phones and tablets.

Last October, a woman had a screwdriver held to her throat by burglars who targeted the Castleknock home of a director of a multi-national company.

At the weekend, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wrote to his constituents advising them that he had spoken to gardai about the spike in burglaries.

In a letter to residents, the Fine Gael leader said senior Gardai at Blanchardstown Station have assured him that every effort will be made to tackle the problem.

Fianna Fail TD Jack Chambers also wrote to constituents in December advising that he had engaged with Gardai about the “serious increase in burglaries”.

He added: “They have informed me that the K-District Community Action Team have been deployed in the local area to improve visibility and response times.

“We must have law and order in our community. The growth we have witnessed in crime in recent times is mirrored by increased levels of anxiety around public safety.

“[There is ] a sense in too many communities that citizens are now stalked by the menace of criminality in their homes and work places.”

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