GARDAI have confirmed that a woman who was arrested after complaints were received in relation to a “bogus” charity collector is expected to appear in court next month.
The Limerick Leader has learned the woman, who was arrested and questioned at the weekend, was released on station bail pending a court appearance on September 1.
While confirming that she will face criminal prosecution, a garda spokesperson would not disclose details of the charges.
“Gardai received a report in the Dooradoyle Road area on Saturday, August 8 of a woman calling to houses purporting to be collecting for a charity. However, it was discovered on inspection that her documentation was fake and she was arrested,” he said.
Suspicions about the woman’s bona fides first emerged online on Saturday morning as several concerned residents posted comments on social media.
“I would like to make people aware of a thief operating in our area. There have been reports about her in Raheen and on Ballinacurra Road & she came to my door just now,” read one post on Facebook.
It is understood the woman, who is aged in her thirties, called to several homes informing the occupants that she was collecting ‘sponsorship’ for a parachute jump in aid of a charity, which she identified.
“She has ID and documentation about the charity. She has jet-black hair tied back in a longish ponytail, and has a small scar on the right side of her face,” read one comment which was posted on the Facebook site of a residents association at an estate in the Dooradoyle area.
Local Councillor, Daniel Butler was one of those who took to social media at the weekend to warn unsuspecting householders
“My immediate reaction was to share it [the Facebook post] and to warn others. This is not the first time that this has happened. Only about a month or two ago, we had people pretending to collect for another charity organisation; young people who have been going out to Raheen and Dooradoyle, and this is becoming a commonplace for people who are preying on good people,” he said,
“What we are looking at now is that we are going to have to be more and more suspicious of people who are collecting door-to-door, and that is going to do more damage to the more genuine cases and that’s a problem. This is going to make it even harder for charities because people are going to be more suspicious when they are knocking at their door and they may be reluctant to give to anybody, no matter what,” added.
While not commenting on the specific individual who has been charged, Cllr Butler expressed concerns that those who engage in such activity are quite believable with their ID and paperwork and becoming far more intelligent in their methods.
Gardai at Roxboro Road are investigating last Saturday’s incident and anybody with information is asked to contact them at (061) 214340.