Gardai concerned at increase in smartphone thefts

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Sgt Ollie Kennedy, Garda Eoin O'Connor, Supt Dan Keane, Garda Mairead Hayes and Louise Dineen, community policing coordinato,r pictured at Arthur's Quay Shopping Centre during the Supporting Safer Communities campaign. Picture: Mike Cowhey
GARDAI are appealing to members of the public to be vigilant with their mobile phones following a spike in the number of reported thefts.

GARDAI are appealing to members of the public to be vigilant with their mobile phones following a spike in the number of reported thefts.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the theft of mobile phones increased across the country between April and June

According to the figures, there were more than 1,500 theft-related offences in the Limerick garda division during the three-month period.

Forty-three of these are classified as “theft from the person” which was increase of almost a third compared to the previous quarter.

Supt Dan Keane says the increase in phone thefts is a major concern. “Mobile phone theft has become a huge issue because every mobile phone is worth at least €250 and they are such an easy item to steal and people just need to be aware of it,” he said while attending an information stand at Arthurs Quay Shopping Centre as part of the Supporting Safer Communities campaign.

Supt Keane, who recently moved from Roxboro Road garda station to Henry Street, is appealing to people to take some basic precautions with their phones.

“Note the IMEI number. It’s a 15 digit number and that would be a huge help when phones are reported lost or stolen because it means the phone can be knocked off the system and it is then useless to the person who has stolen it,” he said.

Another area of concern to gardai is the number of burglary offences of which there were 244 across Limerick between April and June.

“Every burglary is a huge imposition on the person who has been burgled but the amount of burglaries that could be prevented is very very high and if people took simple precautions like locking their doors and downstairs windows it would make it that bit harder for burglars,” said Supt Keane.