Gardaí reunite owner with phone after tracking thief from Dunloe to Portlaoise

Gardaí reunite owner with phone after tracking thief from Dunloe to Portlaoise

A man, aged in his late 20s, will appear before Killarney District Court on July 21. File Image. Picture: Pexels

From the majestic peaks of the MacGillycuddy Reeks in Co Kerry to the picturesque midlands surrounds of Portlaoise, it was a two-day journey that ended with a happy owner reunited with her stolen phone, thanks to tracking technology.

At around 4pm at the Gap Of Dunloe on July 12, a woman was cycling when she stopped for a break, placing her backpack on the ground and walking away. When she returned, the bag and its contents were gone.

Using the technology on her phone, she was able to track it to a shop in Sneem, and later that it had made it all the way to Portlaoise.

She reported it to gardaí in Kenmare who reviewed CCTV and liaised with their counterparts in Portlaoise. A suspect was identified and arrested on July 14 following a search operation in the midlands town.

All the stolen property was recovered during the search. A man, aged in his late 20s, will appear before Killarney District Court on July 21.

Kerry Garda Division crime prevention officer Jim Foley said people could match the opportunistic nature of would-be thieves with common sense and the use of technology at their disposal.

“We all need to be mindful about our property, no matter where in the world we are. Thieves are opportunistic, so let’s not give them the opportunity.

“Make sure you keep your bag, phone, wallet etc. on you at all times. If you drive to some of our lovely spots here in Kerry and are going for a walk, make sure you don’t leave any valuables on show in your car and make sure the car is locked.” 

Technology could be a valuable friend in such circumstances as a theft, he said.

“If you have a smartphone, consider downloading a location finder App. In this instance, we would have found it difficult to investigate the theft because it occurred in such a rural location. The tracking app and the quick actions of the woman was the key to this.”

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