Stepaside butcher the latest burglary victim

by Emma Nolan

STEPASIDE has been targeted by burglars once again with a premises raided in the early hours of Wednesday morning, adding to the list of incidents in the area over the past year.
Flemings Butchers was raided by two men who smashed the door’s lock with a rock before gaining access and smashing open the till.
Owner Michael Fleming said that the raiders made off with a sum of cash and caused considerable damage to the property.
He said: “They smashed the till, the lock. You can see them on the CCTV footage from inside the shop and from Des Kennedy’s Centra and from Alan’s fruit shop next door. They’ve cameras outside.”
Two males pulled up in a small car, picked up two rocks and tried to smash the glass doors. Failing that, the lock was smashed and they gained entry.
“You can see them [in the footage] smashing the till, pulling the cash box out and making off with the contents.”
While the thieves managed to steal a sum of money, Michael says that the damage to his premises will also end up costing a lot to be fixed.
“It’s more the damage that’s the problem – fixing the till is expensive, and [at the same times as] trying to trade [on Wednesday].”
Despite the incident, staff still opened the shop on Wednesday morning but had no till for their transactions, leaving Michael to resort to “pen and paper”.
At the time of going to press, gardai had just announced that they had arrested a man in his early 20s in relation to a burglary at a retail premises in Stepaside.
They reported that two males were observed leaving the scene in a silver car which had previously been reported stolen.
At approximately 3:30am on Wednesday, gardai in Dun Laoghaire arrested a man in the St Patrick’s Crescent area of Dun Laoghaire, who was seen running from a silver car matching the description of the car involved.
Following a search of the car, they discovered items believed to have been stolen during the course of the burglary.
The man is currently being detained in Dun Laoghaire Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994.
This latest incident has seen fresh calls to reopen Stepaside Garda Station increased, coming one year after neighbouring shop, Des Kennedy’s, was held up by armed robbers who threatened staff and robbed a sum of money.
The report into reopening a number of stations is due to be released in May and it is highly expected that Stepaside will be included.
Many locals credit Minister Shane Ross for potentially reopening the station as it was included in his conditions for the Programme for Government after he was elected to the Cabinet last year.
Following the raid on Flemings, Deputy Josepha Madigan (FG) said that the incident “underlines the urgent need” for Stepaside Garda Station to reopen.
She said: “Mick Fleming and his business are integral parts of the Stepaside community, and it is very upsetting to see the damage done to the store.
“Stepaside needs gardai stationed locally to protect the community and local businesses falling prey to burglary.”
Michael echoed her views, adding: “I do believe the reason this happened is because we don’t have the [garda] station – definitely, 100%.
“We need to get this announcement [on the reopening of stations] in May, and the station has to be reopened. This has to happen sooner rather than later. The people of Stepaside want this – just get it done.”

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