NewsCrime Desk

Traveller gangs using high tech ‘master key fobs’ to rob cars and vans

Traveller gangs using high tech ‘master key fobs’ to rob cars and vans

AN ORGANISED gang are using sophisticated car key fobs in a new crime wave.

The gang is travelling throughout the country using the “master remotes” to open commercial vehicles and clean out their contents.

Sources have revealed that the mob, who are understood to be made up of Traveller criminals, are suspected of stealing tens of thousands of euro worth of tools and other equipment this year.

They have been buying the devices – which can override locking systems – on dodgy internet sites. The fobs allow them to break into any vehicle without ever needing to break the doors or locks.

 In a recent incident in the Greystones, Co Wicklow, the gang made off with more than €20,000 worth of tools in less than a couple of minutes.

CCTV footage revealed that the criminals arrived at the targeted van in a Nissan Micra which had been stolen in the Carlow area and was fitted out with a cloned licence plate.

The same gang are suspected of being responsible for targeting three vehicles in the same way in Cork just a week later.

Sources have revealed that the gang are also suspected of similar crimes in the capital in recent weeks in which tradesmen have had large hauls of tools stolen from them.

It has emerged that many of the victims did not have tool insurance which means they have been left out of pocket for their stolen equipment.

However, many tradesmen confirm that insuring tools is very difficult, if not impossible. 

It is suspected that the mob have been driving out of Ireland on ferries to the UK where they have been selling the tools stolen here.

It is being investigated if the same gang are linked to another crew who have been using similar devices to steal large amounts of cash.

There have been a number of cases in the Midlands and west of the country where criminals have followed people after they withdraw money, before using the devices to open the vehicles and escape with the cash.

Ken Foy