Gardai in Limerick probe a possible link between crimes in villages

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Boylesports in Patrickswell was the scene for an armed robbery

Boylesports in Patrickswell was the scene for an armed robbery

GARDAI in Limerick are investigating a possible link between a series of incidents in the county in the last fortnight, in which valuable items and cash were taken from businesses.

In two specific incidents, a car fitting the same description was used as the getaway vehicle. The car has since been recovered by gardai after being burnt out.

Last week, a shop which sells garden machinery in Croom was targeted when three suspects entered and took a number of items.

The burglary took place in the early hours of the morning at Hanly’s Garden Machinery. At around 2.20am on July 10, three suspects broke into the premises and stole stock with an estimated value of €12,000.

The loss of the valuable stock is a huge blow to the small locally-owned business, which fears its insurance costs will now be hiked up.

The suspects took a large number of chainsaws, and gardai have issued a warning for people to avoid buying new equipment from anyone claiming to own the machinery.

They also asked that anyone who may notice such an approach, or anyone with information, to contact Croom garda station on 061-397240.

The three made their escape in a dark blue Audi.

A car of the same or similar description was used in an armed robbery by three people in Patrickswell some days later.

Last Sunday at 6.30pm, Boylesports bookmaker in Patrickswell was targeted by three men who threatened staff with a suspected firearm and two axes.

The masked men left the betting shop with a sum of cash, and a fourth man was waiting outside in a dark blue Audi A3.

The getaway vehicle was later recovered, burnt out, in Cappagh near Rathkeale in west Limerick.

Gardai renewed their appeal for information in the days following the Patrickswell crime.

“The incident occurred at approximately 6.30pm when three masked males entered the premises with a suspected firearm and two axes, they threatened staff and demanded money,” said gardai.

“A fourth man waited outside the premises in a dark blue car which is believed to be an Audi A3, partial reg 141 G,” added the garda spokesperson.

Former metropolitan mayor, Cllr Sean Lynch, who lives close to Patrickswell, said that the raid was “awfully traumatic” for staff and customers.

“It's about time now that the companies, whoever they are, take it on board themselves to make it safer for staff and for customers,” said Cllr Lynch, who is also a former garda detective.

“They should be making it more awkward for these type of things to happen. There should be screens where the staff are safe behind it.

“It's a shame that this is happening in a small, local community. We don't want this happening in our village. So, if anyone has any information, I appeal for them to do the right thing and, in the strictest of confidence, they can make contact [with gardai].”

This is the second Boylesports to be hit by a violent armed robbery since December. A store within the same chain, in Ballycummin, was targeted by hatchet-wielding raiders in the last six months.

The number for Patrickswell garda station is 061-355103 and Roxboro Road is on 061-214340.

An attempted burglary also reportedly took place in Tipperary in the last week, in which a similar type of car was again used.

Those who have information can also contact the confidential line on 1800 666 111.