GARDAI say they are keeping an open mind following a spate of burglaries and break-ins at homes and businesses across County Limerick over the past week.
A licenced firearm was stolen during one burglary in the Ballingarry area on Tuesday night while thieves escaped with a variety of property including cash, jewellery and heating oil following separate incidents which happened in the Croom and Adare areas.
Gardai say the house from which the shotgun was stolen on Tuesday was not occupied at the time.
Investigations into the theft are ongoing and gardai are concerned the weapon may be used in the commission of other serious crimes in future.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that during an incident in the early hours of last Friday, three men were disturbed after they broke into a private residence in the Croom area.
After being disturbed, the raiders confronted the householder with a weapon - believed to be a hammer - before escaping with a small amount of property.
In a similar incident, which happened in Lisnagry last Friday, a Volkswagen Golf GTI was stolen by a number of men who threatened the householder with a hatchet,
Nobody was injured during either incident, which gardai say were “distressing” for the victims.
Gardai are also investigating burglaries at another private residence and a business premises in the Croom area which were targeted since the weekend.
A number of homes were also broken into the Adare and Ballingarry areas in recent days.
Anybody with information about any of the burglaries is asked to contact their local garda station.
While investigations are at an early stage, gardai have not said if they believe all of the burglaries were carried out by the same gang.