Vehicles seized in burglary gang blitz

Gardaí have recovered 11 vehicles and made seven arrests in three operations over two days targeting organised burglary gangs.

They include two Irish gangs — a Limerick gang run by teenagers and men in their 20s; and an eastern European criminal network.

All investigations were conducted under Operation Thor, which specifically targets burglary gangs.

In the first of two operations on Wednesday, gardaí dismantled a sophisticated ‘chop shop’ operation run by an Irish crime outfit.

In a series of linked searches across three counties, gardaí from Dublin and the eastern region recovered six intact cars, one partially intact car as well as vehicle car parts.

The operation began when officers stopped a vehicle on the N11 in Co Wexford on Wednesday afternoon.

They recovered vehicle parts, which investigators believe were from stolen vehicles.

A man, aged in his 50s, was arrested and taken to Tallaght Garda station.

In a follow-up operation, gardaí searched a premises in the Summerhill area of Co Meath. Sources described this facility as a “chop shop”, where stolen cars are dismantled and sold on as car parts.

Gardaí recovered three cars — an Audi A4, an Audi A3, and VW Golf.

Another VW was partially dismantled. Officers also uncovered 4kg of cannabis herb, with an estimated street value of €80,000.

A Garda spokesman said a number of private houses were also searched.

In a further search, of a property in Co Wicklow, an Audi A5, and Audi A1 and a Hyundai Tuscan were recovered.

The spokesman said these vehicles were all believed to be have stolen earlier in burglaries.

“Gardaí believe that this Thor operation is a significant result in targeting this organised crime gang,” said the spokesman.

“This investigation into the distribution network for stolen car parts is ongoing.”

In the second operation on Wednesday, Limerick gardaí stopped a stolen 141-reg BMW and arrested the driver, a 27-year-old male.

In a subsequent search, they recovered a 141-reg VW, which had been stolen in the same burglary.

Gardaí also recovered a 141-reg Nissan Qashqai, which had been stolen along with two laptops in a separate burglary on the southside of the city.

In a planned follow-up operation yesterday morning, they arrested four males aged between 17 and 20 in relation to the investigation.

The investigation was conducted by members from Roxboro Road, Henry Street and Newcastlewest districts.

In a separate operation on Tuesday, gardaí in the eastern region seized two cars, a boat and lawnmowers during a search of a house in Rassilagh, Oldcastle, Co Meath.

In this investigation, also part of Operation Thor, gardaí recovered a 2015 Audi A5 and a 2010 Audi A4 Estate.

They also found a rigid inflatable boat and outdoor motor, three ride-on lawnmowers, another lawnmower and power tools.

Gardaí said that the property is believed to have been stolen during burglaries in the Midlands, particularly Co Meath and Co Westmeath.


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