STOLEN power tools, worth an estimated €8,000, were seized at Bantry market last Friday week.
Supt Declan O’Sullivan said gardaí spotted the items while on routine patrol at the market and identified them as stolen.
The tools – which included jigsaws, nail guns and drills – were seized and, with some difficulty, were traced back to the owners in Dublin, who had reported them stolen on Monday, January 15th.
It has also been confirmed that the stallholder is due to appear before Bantry District Court on Thursday, January 25th.
The superintendent urged people to be ‘mindful of what they are purchasing because there is the potential for criminals to sell stolen goods at markets.’
Although the time from the theft to return in this case was swift, the Supt said people could do more to protect their property, and assist the gardaí, by properly marking their goods.
He said there is, for example, a new computerised property marking system that engraves each item with the owner’s Eircode.
The system – which was rolled out on a pilot basis on the Mizen Peninsula – is more effective than standard means of identification, such as relying on serial numbers or the owner’s initials, because they can be easily removed.
Community Councils in Ballydehob, Schull and Goleen, joined together with the local Neighbourhood Watch, and the gardaí, to launch the Mizen Community Safety Project in 2016.
The community groups pooled their money and invested €4,000 in the computerised property marking system and thousands have already used the fully automated system to mark everything from a computer to a fishing rod.
The micro-engraving is suitable for use on a range of items, such as bicycles, laptops, musical equipment and mobile phones, as well as larger items like as power tools, chainsaws, lawnmowers and outboard engines.
The facility is available to everyone in the community on special convened ‘open days’ that are advertised in The Southern Star, on community posters, and via text alert.
Supt O’Sullivan said people can also contact their local community garda to find out more about the system.