Thieves target tools in Athlone Road raid

The thieves rummaged through the offices of Longford Stone and Garden during the raid. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
A Longford town businessman has been left counting the cost after his premises was targeted by burglars in recent weeks

A Longford town businessman has been left counting the cost after his premises was targeted by burglars in recent weeks

Leonard McGrath of Longford Stone & Garden explaind that thousands of euro-worth of equipment was taken during the raid on his premises on the Athlone Road, which occurred sometime between close of business on April 28 and start of business on April 29.

“I locked-up at 6.30pm and when I opened the next morning I noticed the stuff on my desk had been tossed around,” he said.

“When I looked, they had taken drills, grinders, polishing machines, hoists, and jackhammers. I’m still finding that stuff is missing.”

As well as stealing equipment, the perpetrators also caused damage while gaining entry.

“They broke in through a tiny window, so it must’ve been a small person, and the Gardaí said they found small footprints,” Mr McGrath explained.

“People are working and trying hard, and it isn’t easy when we’re having our tools robbed on us,” he continued. “You’re trying and trying; it’s very frustrating. It doesn’t matter what type of security you have. And it’s not a policing problem, it’s a societal problem.”

The businessman also pointed to other break-ins at businesses in the area in recent months and claimed criminals are targeting the Athlone Road in particular.

“It’s an isolated area at night-time and it’s been hard-hit by break-ins over the last year,” he observed.

Mr McGrath, who has been operating Longford Stone & Garden for the past four years, revealed that while the incident caused great inconvenience, he has remained open for business.

“We’re getting by,” he admitted. “We stayed open that day. I had to go out and purchase new bits and pieces, and I’m still waiting for some new tools to come.”

A Garda spokesperson confirmed an investigation into the incident is under way and that forensic samples have been recovered from the scene.

Anyone who may have spotted suspicious activity in the area around the time of the break-in is asked to contact Longford Garda Station on 043 3350570.