A MAN in his eighties and a church in County Limerick were targeted on the same night.
The elderly gentleman, who lives on his own, was robbed by a con-artist in Dromkeen, while heating oil was stolen from Caherconlish church.
At around 5pm on Tuesday, November 19 a well dressed man called to the mans home.
A garda spokesperson said the man believed to be in his forties arrived at the door of the rural house.
“He was purporting to be from the pensions board and told the gentleman that he is due a raise in his pension and breezed past him into the bedroom. He removed a wallet from a jacket and left,” said the garda spokesperson.
The financial loss was €29.
The garda’s advice is for home owners to be very careful to who they open their door to.
“We would advise elderly people not to open their door fully to strangers. Go to a window and have a look to see who is outside or leave the chain on the door have a look.
“If they are uncertain don’t open the door. Anyone purporting to be from the health board or pensions board that they get identification first and satisfy themselves that these people are who they maintain they are,” advised the garda spokesperson.
It is believed the perpetrator was driving an old style Toyota Carina and gardai are appealing to the public that if they have any information about the crime to contact Bruff garda station on 061 382940.
Later that night criminals stole heating oil from the tank of Our Lady, Mother of the Church in Caherconlish.
Parish priest Fr Roy Donovan said they broke the cap on the tank before filling up a number of five gallon drums. The previous week heating oil was stolen from St Ailbe’s Credit Union which is just up from the church.
Fr Donovan estimates the loss at about €450.
“We put €500 worth of heating oil into the tank in April. Then the good weather came and we have been sparing it. We haven’t used it much at all apart from the past few weeks,” said Fr Donovan, who wishes to warn others to be on their guard from heating oil thefts as they are happening across the county.
To ensure the church is warm for parishioners this weekend a very small amount of heating oil was placed into the tank.
“There is no point in being vulnerable and there are a number of people working on security precautions into the future. There will be very little heating oil in it in the foreseeable future,” said Fr Donovan.
They think the drums were loaded in the early hours of the morning and a quantity was spilled on the tarmacadam outside the church.