GARDAI in West Cork have issued a warning to tradespeople in the area, after two vans were targeted by thieves recently.
In the first incident, a van parked up at Bawnbue in Drimoleague had cash taken from the glove compartment, between 1.30pm and 2pm on November 24th.
The van had been left unlocked, a garda said. In the second case, thieves took a chainsaw from the back seat of a van parked at a building site at Reenmeen, Glengarriff. The Stihl chainsaw was taken between 11am and 4pm on December 1st, and once again the van was unlocked at the time.
Sgt Ian O’Callaghan, crime prevention officer for Cork West division, warned tradespeople and owners of commercial vans to ensure that they were locked at all times, even if they are unattended only for short periods, and during the daytime.
The garda also said that a garden centre at Donemark, Bantry was targeted between 5pm on November 30th and 9am on December 1st.
A plastic cover on a polytunnel at the centre was ripped and a small quantity of cash was taken. Gardai in Bantry are investigating.
Sgt O’Callaghan added that gardai in Castletownbere are investigating a break-in at a work shed at the Berehaven Golf Club, where a ‘socket set’ was taken, between 5pm and 9am on December 2nd-3rd.
Thieves gained entry by forcing a front door of the building.
A caravan – which was serving as a canteen for workers – was taken from a building site at Hawthorn, Drimoleague, on November 27th, between 4pm and midnight.
The two-tone brown and cream caravan is valued at €1,000.
Another vehicle was targeted in Clouragaun, Innishannon, between November 27th and 29th, when 100 litres of fuel was taken from a parked-up vehicle.
Gardai are also investigating the passing of counterfeit notes in a commercial premises in Lissarda on November 19th. A fake €20 was exchanged for two authentic €10 notes, by a woman in her mid-40s, with a distinctive gap in her front teeth and wearing a black duffle coat and a white woollen hat.
Sgt O’Callaghan said that while there appears to have been a fall-off in the use of fake notes, the instance of counterfeits usually spikes around Christmas time. He said gardai also noted that fraudsters regularly target shops at weekends and the evenings, when there are often less experienced staff working. He advised all retailers to brief staff.