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Garda Air Support involved in raid targeting suspect robbers of overhead power cables

The men are to be charged in connection with the theft of ESB overhead power lines in Rathangan
The men are to be charged in connection with the theft of ESB overhead power lines in Rathangan

Five people have been arrested in connection with the theft of overhead cables belonging to the ESB.

Gardaí attached to the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau assisted by local Gardaí from Kildare and the Garda Air Support Unit carried out an arrest operation in Rathdangan, County Kildare in the early hours of the morning. 
 
They were arrested after the raid at 4.40am and subsequently detained at Naas and Leixlip Garda Stations. Two have been released without charge and investigations are continuing.
 
The three other men have been charged and are expected to appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice tomorrow morning. They are to be charged in connection with the theft of ESB overhead power lines in Rathangan.
 
Two cars were also seized in relation to this operation. 
  
"Investigations have been carried into the large scale organised theft of live electrical cable throughout the Country over the past number of months," a Gardai spokesperson said. 
 
"The modus operandi of the group involved was to climb electrical poles and cut large amounts of copper wire over a period of several hours.
 
This has resulted in power outages to large sections of the country; it presented a serious danger to the public and resulted in millions of euros worth of damage to ESB power lines.
 
"To-date this year 142 kilometres of power lines have been stolen at a replacement cost of €4.6million."