A grey Audi estate car pulled up outside O’Neill’s power equipment shop in Main St, Milltown, on the main Killarney to Dingle route, between 4am and 4.30am on Sunday.
A number of men got out and forced in the front door of the shop. Within minutes, the men had seized chainsaws and other equipment, filling the car and ignoring the shop’s alarm system which was activated.
CCTV footage is being examined. The men were wearing balaclavas.
“This was in the middle of the village, in the early hours,” a garda spokesman said.
Garda scene-of-crime officers examined the shop yesterday, where thousands of euro of equipment involving up to 30 items were stolen.
Crime gangs have been targeting Kerry in recent weeks, especially in rural parts or quiet towns and villages. In the past week, there have been raids on a bookmaker’s office and a pub in Cahersiveen. A warehouse in Knocknagoshel has also been targeted, as have two multi-storey car parks in Tralee town centre — all in the early hours.
Houses in Muckross near Killarney and Kenmare have also been burgled.
Independent TD Michael Healy Rae said gardaí in Kerry are suffering from cutbacks in personnel with dozens of gardaí who have retired in Kerry not replaced in recent years. The closure of rural garda stations is also suiting criminals, he said.