Gardaí have stepped up patrols in the greater Salthill and Knocknacarra areas, following a spate of break-ins and petty crime in recent weeks.
Teenage criminals gangs are ‘kicking in’ front doors with weak locks, as well as targeting houses and cars where windows or doors have been left unlocked.
Now, residents in the areas have been warned to be extra vigilant, after what a local councillor has described as “a significant rise in opportunist petty crime”.
Cllr Donal Lyons said that over the last five or six weeks, householders and local residents’ groups have reported a rise in crime.
He pointed out that Gardaí in Salthill had issued a public appeal to motorists and residents to be more vigilant when leaving property in cars, and securing their homes.
They have deployed two additional community Gardaí to deal with the problem of teenage delinquency, thefts and assaults.
Chief Superintendent Tom Curley has said that “progress is being made” in investigations into thefts and assaults in recent months, but in some instances, injured parties were not willing to make statements.
Cllr Lyons said: “The thefts are mainly opportunist with break-ins to cars where valuables have been left unattended. Mobile phones, handbags, loose change and other valuable items are being targeted.
There has also been an increase in entry to private residences where windows and doors have been left unlocked and open, and again opportunists have gained access to remove laptops, phones and other items which can be easily disposed of and which are visible to the public.
“There has also been a number of attempted break-ins where front doors are being literally kicked in because poor quality locks can easily pop open,” said Cllr Lyons.
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