THIRTEEN Romanian nationals, including a juvenile, were arrested yesterday as part of an ongoing crackdown on organised theft in Dublin city centre.
Eight people were arrested in dawn raids yesterday, and five people were picked up in the afternoon.
The arrests follow a Garda investigation into thefts and robberies targeting people and property in city centre streets.
All 13 suspects are originally from Romania and aged between 16 and 40.
The searches and arrests were carried out by gardaí from Store Street and the Garda National Immigration Bureau as part of the two-month long Operation Hawkeye 2.
In the first series of arrests, gardaí, accompanied by interpreters, raided 19 addresses in the North Circular Road and Marlborough Road areas of the north inner city. Six males and two females were arrested.
In a second operation, officers arrested three males and two females, all aged in their 20s. Operation Hawkeye was set up to crack down on the high numbers of apparently organised thefts from people in Dublin city centre.
Gangs have been targeting people who leave handbags, wallets and phones unattended, leave goods visible in their cars or who do not guard valuables when in queues or crowds.
A small amount of drugs and stolen property was recovered in yesterday’s operation. Eight people, including a juvenile, appeared in court yesterday.
Last March, 12 Romanians were arrested under the first phase of Operation Hawkeye.
A Garda spokeswoman yesterday advised people to be aware of their personal property when shopping or in crowded areas: “Be extra cautious of your belongings when someone offers you assistance, especially when you do not seem to need it or if there is some other form of distraction.”
She urged people to be vigilant when using mobile phones or MP3 players.
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