More than €2,000 worth of whiskey has been stolen from stores in Cork in recent days, writes Ann Murphy.
A gang of foreign nationals are suspected of having carried out the thefts at two stores in Ballincollig and Bishopstown.
Attempts to take alcohol from other stores on the west side of the city failed.
Sources said there are at least four in the gang, although it is suspected there could possibly be five in total.
It is believed the gang travelled to Cork from Dublin to carry out a wave of raids on stores selling alcohol.
It is believed the gang are a professional outfit who are experts in stealing alcohol.
It is expected the alcohol will be sold on the black market. Last Christmas, another gang also targeted Cork for alcohol raids but are believed to have flown into the airport and used a hired car to carry out a blitz over a short period of time. Another group of shoplifters are targeting toys and food in the last few days before Christmas.
And sources in the security industry said clothing stores are also being hit this week.
Expensive cosmetics are also on the list for shoplifters, with garda statistics revealing that they are stolen in one in five shoplifting incidents.
This article first appeared in the Evening Echo.