Organised crime gang behind north Longford filling station raids

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Gardaí

Gardaí believe a professional burglary gang are the orchestrators behind a series of raids at filling stations in the Granard Garda District

An organised crime gang is believed to have been behind a series of raids at filling stations in the north of the county.

That was the sobering analysis voiced by Granard Supt Brian Mohan this week as crime figures were debated at a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting.

Supt Mohan said despite burglary trends showing no apparent spike, a recent upsurge in break-ins at petrol stations had been a cause of concern at a local level.

The former Dundalk based garda chief said his detectives were satisfied three recent burglaries across the District were the handiwork of professional crime outfits.

“We (in Granard) have had three break ins at filling stations where the same modus operandi has been used,” he said.

“We (gardaí) believe it is an organised crime gang that’s going around the country removing CCTV and safes as well as high valued goods.”

Supt Mohan said initial investigations had found that in most cases those responsible were refraining from parking up outside their chosen location.

Instead, he said in some instances criminals were breaking into sheds and outhouses in order to carry out burglaries.

“One premises in particular in Drumlish has been targeted twice in the space of two months,” he said.

“We really need to get a handle on these fellas.”

As such, he urged homeowners and members of the public to remain on their guard and report any unusual sightings of cars and other vehicles parked at the sides of roads and laneways to contact Gardaí.

Cllr Martin Mulleady said it was incumbent on people living in towns and rural areas to “wake up” and assist gardaí in their efforts to curtail the activities of known crime gangs.

“We all need to open our eyes,” he said.

“If we see something that we don’t think is right we need to report it to the Gardaí straight away.”

Those recommendations come hot on the heels of a late night break-in at a supermarket in Drumlish which resulted in the theft of a large quantity of cigarettes.

A small quantity of cash was also believed to have been taken during a raid at Kiernan's Centra two weeks ago.

It's understood thieves gained access to the premises by disabling an alarm system before making their way inside.

It is the latest break-in to hit the popular north Longford retailer after a similar incident was also reported earlier this year.

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