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Garda warning after spike in house break-ins

August 14th, 2017 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Homeowners in West Cork are warned to be extra vigilant following a spike in local burglaries.

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GARDAÍ are warning homeowners in West Cork to be extra vigilant following a spike in local burglaries, with 12 detected in the past fortnight.

Garda crime prevention officer for West Cork, Sgt Ian O'Callaghan, said while figures for burglaries are down overall, the public needs to be aware of a spike in the last two weeks in the Cork West division.

‘We are urging  people to be more vigilant in light of these recent break-ins,' Sgt O'Callaghan told The Southern Star.

The break-ins took place in homes that were occupied, unoccupied, and under construction, as well as outhouse sheds. 

On July 24th at Cooldaniel, Toames, Macroom, between 12am and 7am, items worth about €2,000 were stolen from a house after it was entered through a rear window. The stolen items include a Waterford Crystal clock, china ornaments, binoculars and a silver serving dish.

On July 26th at Dromleenagh, Dunmanway, between 10.30pm and 6am the following morning, a stables was entered and horse equipment worth over €4,000 was stolen, including harnesses, bridles and sulky equipment. 

And between July 8th and 26th at Manch West, Ballineen, a number of items were stolen from an outhouse shed.

Between July 15th and 28th a vacant house was entered at Skibbereen Road, Drimoleague, and a number of items were stolen, including jewellery and paintings.

Between 8pm on July 30th  and 9am on July 31st at Teerbeg, Macroom, sheds that are adjacent to a residential house were entered and ransacked, but nothing was stolen.

In Ballinascarthy, between July 28th and 30th, a shed attached to an unoccupied house was broken into and a green strimmer and a red and white Trek pedal mountain bike were stolen.

Between August 1st and 2nd, a house under construction at Clogheen, Ballinhassig, was broken into and a number of items of building equipment were stolen, including a generator, tile cutter, vacuum cleaner, cement mixer, Honda generator and a laser. 

In Carhoo North, Kinsale, a farmhouse was entered between 10pm on August 1st and 6pm on August 2nd where a blue trailer box was stolen, along with €250 worth of diesel and other tools.

At Mohonagh, Skibbereen, between July 28th and August 3rd a number of items were stolen from a derelict cottage, including some tools.

Between 7am and 6.45pm on August 4th a residential house was entered at Aughaville, Drimoleague, via a side window of the house, and a sum of cash was stolen. 

Between 8.30am to 10am on August 5th an attempt was made to enter a house at Lower Currahaly, Farnanes, and anyone with information is asked to contact Macroom gardaí.

On August 4th between 1.30pm and 8.30pm, a house was entered in Desert, Clonakilty, via a rear window and a sum of cash was stolen.

There have also been a number of thefts reported in the Cork West Division including the theft of a white surfboard at Long Strand, Castlefreke on August 4th between 5.30pm and 6.30pm and gardaí in Clonakilty are investigating the incident. 

Also on July 24th between 3am and 5am a DJ mixer controller was stolen from a tent at the Townlands Festival in Rusheen, Macroom.

On August 2nd between 5.15pm and 6pm at Nohoval Cove, Kinsale, a car was broken into when a passenger window was smashed and a Toshiba laptop and charger, along with a power drill and handbag were stolen.

The keys to a Green Volkswagen Caddy Van were stolen from an unattended bag at Inchydoney Beach between 4pm and 5.10pm on August 4th. The van was entered using the key and a sum of cash was stolen.

 ‘We would also like to remind car owners not to leave valuables on display in their car – it is an easy target for thieves,' pointed out Sgt O'Callaghan.

Anyone with information on any of these burglaries or thefts are asked to contact their local garda station.

Meanwhile, the increasing number of quad bikes being stolen from farms has been described by a garda chief as ‘a craze', adding unless they're ‘tied down', they'll be stolen. 

Chief Supt Ger Dillane of Cork North Division was speaking at a recent Cork city and county Joint Policing Committee (JPC) where he revealed that burglary figures for the first three months of the year are slightly up and that a lot of items stolen included farm machinery and gardening equipment.

‘We're always appealing to farmers and the general public to secure their property. There seems to be a craze on quads this year as they seem to be disappearing throughout the county,' said Chief Supt Dillane.

‘Unless it's tied down, they will steal it. It seems that people are leaving their equipment outside in the busy season and all we can do is give advice on crime prevention.'

Chief Supt of Cork West Division Con Cadogan said that thieves were targeting equipment like strimmers, chainsaws and lawnmowers and selling them on and he advised that owners should note the serial numbers on all their equipment.

‘People become complacent as the summer begins and we're urging the public to be more vigilant about securing their property,' said Chief Supt Cadogan.

Cllr Timmy Collins (Ind), vice-chair of the JPC, agreed with Chief Supt Cadogan that the public should protect their property and ‘at least make it hard for thieves.'

Figures from April to June show that theft from property was up on the same period from last year, with 1,519 reported theft incidents, compared to 1,343 in 2016. There was also an increase in thefts from vehicles with 191 reports of theft, compared with 129 for the same period in 2016. Theft of cars was also up, from 69 to 95, and there was also an increase in thefts of bicycles – from 52 to 71. Thefts from persons was also up, by 11, from last year.

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