Up to 200 mobile phones were reported stolen in Galway City during the first eight months of this year, according to new Garda figures.
Professional gangs are behind many of the thefts – they “blitz” the city centre on a Friday or Saturday night, stealing up to 15 smart phones, and leave town.
However, victims have gotten little sympathy from one city councillor, who said they were careless with their phones because of alcohol.
During a presentation on crime statistics at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said there were 210 cases of ‘theft other’ (separate to burglaries, theft from the person, from vehicles or shops) in the first eight months of this year, and the “biggest majority” of these were thefts of phones.
The figure was up 38% from 152 during the same eight-month period last year.
“What we find here in the city is that the large majority of phones would be taken in the nightclubs and super pubs.”
He gave the example of people who were leaving Cork City at 10.20pm, arriving into pubs in Galway at 12.50am to steal phones – on one occasion Gardaí recovered 15 phones.
“It’s not just local criminals, you’re talking the length and breadth of Ireland now, because of the network of roads.”
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