Fears are growing organised gangs operating in the Longford and wider midlands area are increasingly turning their attentions to stealing copper, alumunium and other scrap metals in an attempt to fund their criminal lifestyles.
Gardai this week confirmed they are investigating at least two incidents where thieves had taken and attempted to remove copper and steel fittings from vacant premises over the past seven days.
The first occured last Monday (August 22) when gardai disturbed two men during the course of a robbery at Minard, on the outer fringes of Newtownforbes.
Both men were found to be loading a grey Transit van shortly before 6am before fleeing on foot as a patrol car approached. No arrests have yet been made although gardai have said they are pursuing a particular line of inquiry.
In Longford town, a house in the Palace Crescent area of Ardnacassa was also subject to unwanted intruders over the past week. Unlike the Minard incident however, detectives remain unsure as to exactly when thieves entered the unoccupied premises to steal a copper cylinder, three piece leather suit and electric cooker. So far, investigators have managed to determine the break-in took place sometime between August 22 and August 29.
Seperately, gardai are also anxious to track down the whereabouts of a 300 gallon water tanker that was taken from Clonguish GAA grounds over the weekend. The tanker, which is bright green and blue in colour has a single axle and draw bar attached and was parked just yards from the club’s pitch.
Meanwhile, a similar investigation is also under way after a red Toyota Corolla was found burned out between McGiff’s Cross, Longford and Newtowncashel on Monday morning. The car, which carries a 1993 registration was stolen just hours beforehand on Sunday evening from a house in Killashee, gardai believe.
Anyone with any information in relation to any of these incidents is asked to contact Longford Garda Station at (043) 3346741.