Three sneaky theft techniques being used on the streets of Dublin this Christmas
Foreign gangs continue to jet into Dublin to carry out targeted theft sprees from people in Dublin city centre and then flee the capital within days of their arrival.
Gardaí are devising a plan involving armed officers patrolling the street to put a halt to what has been described as a 'theft epidemic'
The criminals, made up of both Romanian and Irish nationals, are using a variety of techniques to rob people on the streets of Dublin.
The three most common techniques being used are known as 'dipping', 'hugging mugging' and 'shoulder surfing'.
'Dipping' is the most prevalent on the streets and involves a pickpocketer stealing a purse or phone from a person's bag or coat.
Gardaí have learnt that a group of Romanians have been operating a patch between O'Connell Street and College's Green with a number of 'dipping' incidents reported on Westmoreland Street, according to The Herald.
'Shoulder surfing' involves a perpetrator watching people make transactions on their cards in bars and clubs and memorising their PIN number.
They then keep the victim in their sights and steal their card later in the evening.
Gardaí say they 'max-out' the victim's card within a two day period.
'Hugging-mugging' is used on the street and is when the victim is cuddled by a 'friendly stranger' and are unknowingly pickpocketed.
Undercover Gardaí operations against these crimes are due to begin in the lead up to Christmas.
Gardaí are also monitoring suspected thieves and building 'intelligence-based profiles' on the main perpetrators.
Arrests have been made but as the courts have granted the individual bails, the perpetrators are able to leave the country.