NewsCrime Desk

Used car warning as gardai target prolific car theft gang

Used car warning as gardai target prolific car theft gang

IRELAND’S most prolific car theft gang was the focus of a major operation this week which led to the seizure of a stolen Volvo car in north Co Dublin.

The gang is suspected of stealing five high-powered cars every week.

The bust led gardai to appeal to people who are considering buying vehicles advertised online to be extremely cautious about transactions.

A drug addict aged in his 30s from Balbriggan was still being questioned in Crumlin Garda Station last night after his arrest in Rush on Monday night.

However, sources believe he was only being used by a major Crumlin-based gang to sell the car to an unsuspecting buyer.

Previous reports revealed that the gang suspected of robbing the car, which was seized by armed gardai on Monday, was the subject of a major investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

The gang is led by a 29-yearold criminal who has survived at least three attempts on his life in the past two years and detectives have established that he works closely with two other major criminals.

The three are among the top targets for the garda’s Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and Stolen Motor Vehicle Unit.

They have also been investigated as part of Operation Creeper, which targeted Dublin burglary gangs.

The mobster who is the perceived leader of the gang is considered a main player in the “fishing” burglary gangs, which use fishing rods and other implements to snatch car keys through letterboxes and then steal vehicles.

However, it is believed he has since become a gangland target because of his involvement in drugs rather than his main business of car theft.

During the summer, gardai arrested a gunman in the Crumlin area who it is believed was on his way to murder the man at his apartment complex.

Yesterday gardai gave advice to members of the public who plan to buy cars online.

“Gardai would like to warn the public that this type of scam is sophisticated with cloned registration plates on the stolen car matching another vehicle of the same type,” a spokesman said.

“Gardai are asking persons thinking of buying second-hand cars to exercise caution and carry out due diligence before parting with their money,” the spokesman added.