Five men have been arrested after a spate of car break-ins and separate burglary incidents across Cork.
Three of the men were before the courts yesterday charged in connection with car break-ins on the southside of the city.
Separately, the Garda air unit was called in to assist in a massive manhunt in the north Cork area yesterday afternoon after another spate of burglaries in the region, earlier in the day.
Gardaí, last night, said they were still hunting for a four-man gang, believed to be travelling in a black Saab, who they believe were responsible for burglaries in the Kerrypike and Castlemartyr areas.
Yesterday’s manhunt followed a successful Garda operation in the early hours of yesterday on the southern outskirts of the city.
Gardaí were alerted to reports of suspicious activity in the Passage West area at around 3.30am.
Supt Charlie Barry said there was an immediate response and several Garda units “swamped the area”.
Gardaí intercepted a high-powered BMW in the Maryborough Woods area, near Douglas, a short time later and arrested three men at the scene. One is in his mid-40s. The other two are in their early 20s. All have addresses in the Midleton area.
Gardaí are still searching for a fourth man they believe may have been in the vehicle earlier. They are following a definite line of enquiry.
Officers recovered a substantial quantity of stolen goods from the BMW, including a TV, cash, satnavs, school bags, and make-up.
The three men were later charged in connection with up to 16 car break-ins in the Passage West, Rochestown, and Douglas areas in the hours before.
Supt Barry said other vehicles may have been targeted, and he added that gardaí were in the process yesterday of returning the stolen goods to their rightful owners.
Just hours later, and in the same Garda district, two men in their 20s were arrested as they left a house in the Togher area. Gardaí recovered stolen iPads.
Supt Barry thanked vigilant members of the public for alerting gardaí to the suspicious activity in both cases and said it ensured a swift Garda response, which led to five arrests in total.
There has been a general surge in burglaries in recent weeks, which resulted in the launch last week of a winter phase of Operation Thor.
Detective superintendents were asked to gather intelligence on organised crime gangs and to identify targets who are travelling around the country to commit burglaries, and using the motorway network to escape.
The intelligence reportedly led to the arrests of four men in Lucan on Wednesday who were suspected of having left Dublin earlier in a stolen high-powered vehicle and of travelling to the Midlands and committing burglaries.
Jewellery and suspected house-breaking implements were recovered.
Last weekend, gardaí in the Mayfield district of Cork City issued a specific warning to homeowners following a 400% spike in burglary rates in that area alone since October 8 ,which they believe were committed by criminals using the M8 motorway, and targeting empty homes in residential areas of Cork just off the motorway, including Glanmire, Little Island, and Mayfield.
Gardaí arrested three men in Kildare on Monday night following a pursuit, during which a shot was discharged, and they are investigating links between this gang and the recent spike in burglaries in Cork.
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