Dublin gang took exit off motorway to target Raheen

Chief Supt David Sheahan gave evidence during the trial
A GANG from Dublin were using the exits off the M7 motorway to access properties in the city suburbs, it has been revealed.

A GANG from Dublin were using the exits off the M7 motorway to access properties in the city suburbs, it has been revealed.

According to Limerick’s most senior garda, the areas of Dooradoyle and Raheen, took “a major hit.”

“A gang from Dublin were using the exits off the motorway to access our city,” said Chief Superintendent David Sheahan at a Joint Policing Committee meeting in County Hall this week.

“We were successful on one occasion detecting them going back to Dublin with the stolen property,” Chief Supt Sheahan continued, adding that four individuals were arrested and brought before the courts.

New statistics relating to crime and traffic offences, which were revealed at the meeting, show that the incidences of burglaries - not aggravated - have risen from 252 for the period of August to October 2012 compared to 309 for the same period this year – a 23% increase.

The theft or unauthorised taking of a pedal bike has increased by 36% from 56 for the three month period last year, to 76 for the same period this year. “We have noticed over the last number of months that there has been a significant increase in the number of pedal bikes being taken around the city. It is predominantly a UL phenomenon and a city phenomenon.” Some of the culprits, Chief Supt Sheahan said, are taking them to get home.

Another area which the chief superintendent said has seen an increase, is the theft of other property. There were 279 incidences in this area between August and October of this year compared with 248 incidences for the same period in 2012 – a 13% increase.

The meeting heard that drive-offs at petrol stations are becoming more frequent. Chief Supt Sheahan explained that people pull into a petrol station and fill their petrol or diesel tank at a pump which is not on the CCTV camera’s radar and then drive away without paying.

He said there were only five or six premises in the city which were being targeted. “We got our crime prevention officer from Cork to come up and we had a seminar with the retailers and advised them as to what measures to take,” said Chief Supt Sheahan.

The meeting heard that handbags are continually being targeted by thieves and gardai conducted an operation at the Milk Market at the weekend in relation to this.

There has also been an increase in the theft of the silver trims on cars which are taken off “very professionally”.

Robbery from a person has seen a marked decrease and is down by 54% compared to the same three-month period of last year.

Councillors were informed that during an operation conducted in Kilmallock in the last fortnight, a number of vehicles were tested and were shown to have the wrong diesel in their tanks.

The meeting heard that criminal damage and public order offences are down overall by 5%.

Drugs and weapons offences meanwhile, are up by 10%. Possession of drugs for personal use is up by 16% on the same three-month period last year.

There were 77 incidences of driving while intoxicated from August to October of this year compared to 95 for the same period last year - a 19% decrease.

The Joint Policing Committee meeting was attended by politicians from across all parties as well as members of the gardai and local representatives.