By Siobhán Cronin
GARDAI have reminded the public that it is extremely rare for non-uniformed gardai to visit homes unannounced.
The warning was made in the wake of a number of incidents involving a man purporting to be a member of the gardaí, calling to homes.
The man, who flashes a logo similar to the Garda Siochana logo, then produces money he says he found outside the house, and asks the homeowner to check their wallet and count their money.
Once the money is produced, the imposter then grabs it and makes off with all the cash. A number of these incidents were reported in recent weeks in the West Cork area, including a similar one, where the visitor purported to be an Eir employee.
‘We want to remind people – especially older people – that they should never keep money in their homes,’ said West Cork crime prevention officer Sgt Ian O’Callaghan. ‘And it is highly unusual for a garda to call to a house, out of uniform, without having made a prior appointment,’ he said.
Sgt O’Callaghan also reported that there had been two recent incidents involving the theft of marine equipment.
The first incident was at Tragumna pier when an 11ft rowing boat, worth about €300, which had been on the pier, was taken between February 2nd and 5th.
And between February 6th and 14th a 2.4m white inflatable Yam dinghy was taken from the pier at Baltimore, with an estimated value of €1,000.
‘We would remind people to be wary of marine theft, and to lock valuables where possible,’ said Sgt O’Callaghan. ‘And they should also consider the property marking scheme, or tracking devices.’
The property marking scheme, which was unveiled in Schull last year, makes items less attractive for re-sale, he added.
Meanwhile, Kinsale gardaí are investigating a break-in at a car on Pier Road in the town between 3.30pm on Saturday February 18th and 12.15pm on Sunday 19th.
The window at the right passenger side of the car was smashed and a portable DVD was taken, valued at €300, from the rear passenger seat. ‘Again, we would remind people not to leave valuables on display,’ said Sgt O’Callaghan.