Foreign gang linked to ESB thefts

Over 3,000 homes were left without electricity following the theft of equipment from an ESB sub-station in Edgeworthstown last May. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Gardaí are trying to establish whether the theft of a high voltage conductor and up to €100,000 of damage to ESB equipment in Edgeworthstown earlier this year can be linked to a string of other thefts across the country.

Gardaí are trying to establish whether the theft of a high voltage conductor and up to €100,000 of damage to ESB equipment in Edgeworthstown earlier this year can be linked to a string of other thefts across the country.

The incident, which occurred in May, resulted in over 3,000 homes being left without power with similar interruptions affecting several local businesses.

At the time, ESB chiefs spoke out on the issue and about the various dangers such activity poses to both the perpetrators and the wider public.

Earlier this month, gardaí arrested a number of individuals in the Leixlip area in connection to the incident.

They have since been charged and remanded on bail ahead of a possible court hearing later this year.

All of those are believed to originally hail from Romania, though it’s not known if the same gang are also behind a string of other incidents in recent months.

In 2015 alone, there have been 43 break-ins to ESB Networks sub-stations already, though it is not known how many of these incidents are related.

At a briefing last week, Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne accepted there had been a general rise in metal thefts since 2011, but most notably in recent months.