Warning after phone thefts

Gardaí have issued a warning to Christmas revellers in Cork after a spate of mobile phone thefts from bars and nightclubs.

Several people have been arrested in recent days after the thefts were reported at various late-night venues across the city centre.

Supt Barry McPolin said criminals are targeting iPhones in particular, but are also taking purses, wallets, and handbags.

Most of the thefts have taken place when groups of people have left their coats or handbags unattended.

He urged people out socialising to be aware of their personal security, to be on the look out for suspicious behaviour, and to alert bar or nightclub security staff.

Several arrests were made after revellers alerted security staff, who in turn contacted gardaí who arrived at the scene and caught thieves red-handed.

The warning comes as gardaí maintain a high-visibility presence in the city centre.

Cork Business Association chief executive Donal Healy praised the Garda operation and said it has contributed to a decline in shoplifting.

Supt McPolin said he has stepped up high-visibility patrols of uniformed gardaí over the last three weeks, and increased the number of plain clothes gardaí and detectives on the streets.

This undercover operation resulted in the arrest and charging of three Eastern European women in late November after a shoplifting spree through 10 city centre stores.

Supt McPolin said the operation, which has delivered a significant reduction in crime in the city centre, will continue right through the Christmas period.


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