Limerick gardai in breakthrough as two charged over theft of quad bikes

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Two men are expected to appear in court this Thursday after they were charged by gardai investigating the theft of a large number of quad bikes

Two men are expected to appear in court this Thursday after they were charged by gardai investigating the theft of a large number of quad bikes

TWO men are expected to appear in court this Thursday after they were charged by gardai investigating the theft of a large number of quad bikes across Limerick over the past twelve months.

There has been considerable disquiet within the farming community locally with large crowds attending several public meetings – one of which was organised by Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Stephen Keary –  earlier this year.

It is understood around 40 quad bikes, each worth several thousand euro, have been stolen from farms across rural parts of Limerick, Kerry and North Cork over the past year – potentially resulting in losses for local farmers in the hundreds of thousands of euro.

Gardai have come under pressure to apprehend the culprits and at a meeting of Joint Policing Committee earlier this month, it was revealed by Cllr Sean Lynch that gardai had made a breakthrough recently and were “on top of it”.

As part on the ongoing investigation, which is being led by gardai in the Newcastle West district two men – aged 55 and 37 –were arrested on Tuesday in the Kilmallock area.

The men, who the Limerick Leader understands are from Eastern Europe, were detained and questioned at Bruff and Newcastle West garda stations under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

Gardai have confirmed a stolen quad bike, worth around €8,000, was recovered during the operation and that investigations are continuing.

In a brief statement, issued this Wednesday evening, The Garda Press Office confirmed the two men had been charged and are expected to be brought before a sitting of the district court this Thursday morning.

The spokesperson added that further arrests are expected as the investigation into the burglaries and associated thefts is ongoing.

At a public meeting in Rathkeale in September, dozens of farmers vented their frustration with some saying they believed the same culprits were responsible for the spate of quad bike thefts.

The Limerick Leader has learned that a number of farmers who replaced stolen quad bikes were targeted a second time weeks later.

“They seem to be highly organised, because they are making away with quads easily, and they are coming with vans or whatever is needed to get them out,” said one farmer who  asked not to be identified.

One line of enquiry being pursed by gardai is that the quad bikes were stolen “to order” and were transported out of the jurisdiction by the culprits.