Two women are to appear in court in Athlone charged with separate shoplifting, assault and criminal damage charges
Two women are to appear in court this morning charged in connection to separate shoplifting, assault and criminal damage charges arising out of incidents in Longford town.
Gardaí arrested a Romanian national who walked into Longford Shopping Centre's Tesco store yesterday evening before attempting to flee moments later with up to €500 worth of alcohol and electrical items.
The woman, who gardaí believe is in her 30s, was arrested and brought to Longford Garda Station for questioning.
The Leader understands detectives are satisfied the suspect is part of an organised shoplifting gang.
Gardaí believe the trend is being driven by east European gangs who specifically target high-value goods such as handbags and perfume, which are easily transported and sold in European markets.
Three of these gangs, which the Leader has learned are based in Dublin, Mullingar and Kildare fly in specialist shoplifters, who are unknown to Irish security personnel, for blitzes of high streets and shopping centres.
Gardai have arrested a number of these perpetrators, but have been left frustrated as the courts have granted the suspects bail and they have simply left the country.
Detectives at Longford Garda Station are still trying to determine the woman's exact identity before an expected court appearance in front of Judge Seamus Hughes in Athlone this morning.
In a separate development, gardaí last night arrested and charged a Longford woman with assault and criminal damage charges arising out of an incident in the county town earlier this year.
The woman, who is in her 20s, is also expected to appear before a sitting of Athlone District Court this morning.