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Burglary gang Burglars trawling RIP.ie to target dead people’s homes while families attend funerals

Gardaí in south Co Dublin intercepted a car containing four convicted criminals who had exact details from the memorial website written on a piece of paper

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Burglars are scouring the RIP.ie website to target dead people’s homes left unoccupied while grieving families attend funerals.

The Irish Independent can reveal gardaí in south Co Dublin intercepted a car containing four convicted criminals who had exact details from the memorial website written on a piece of paper.

The vehicle was searched a week ago when officers from Blackrock garda station stopped it in the Leopardstown area.

Among the suspects inside was a burglary gang boss from the Tallaght area and his son. They are among the main targets for gardaí in their intelligence led anti-burglary campaign.

Officers discovered a note containing funeral details of a person from a nearby south Dublin suburb.

“The address they had was vacant at that time because the family were in a different county at a funeral,” a source said.

“The belief is that information was copied from the RIP website and this crew were planning to target the specific address because they knew the house would be vacant.”

No arrests were made, and the criminals made their way from the scene. The home was not targeted.

Gardaí said that with the “darker nights fast approaching” and the easing of Covid restrictions, homes are less likely to be continually occupied, so a general increase in burglaries nationwide is to be expected.

“It is not a new concept that these organised criminal gangs target homes after getting intelligence that their occupants are attending events like funerals, and weddings or being abroad on holidays,” a source said.

“Even, in rare cases, unfortunate families have been targeted on Christmas Day when they are at mass.

“But what is unusual about last week’s stop-and-search operation was that the details of who they were going to target was there on paper and it was clear where they had been scoping their information from.”

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Three of the “major league” burglary criminals are relatives from the Tallaght area who are based in Blackrock, sources said. 

The fourth man in the car is also a “significant player” based in Crumlin but with links to Bray, Co Wicklow.

Members of the gang were arrested earlier this year in relation to a jewellery burglary in south Dublin.

At least one of the suspects is on bail.

Sources said they have been considered one of the most prolific organised burglary gangs operating in the State over the past decade.

They have also been the targets of specialist garda units, including the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB).

“This crew are suspected of carrying out literally hundreds of organised burglaries over the years nationwide,” a source said.

The development comes after the Irish Independent revealed last week that a significant decrease in burglaries in most Leinster counties is being attributed by senior gardaí to the deaths of three prolific criminals as well as to a number of arrest operations.

The deaths of Tallaght criminals Graham Taylor (31), Karl Freeman (26) and Dean Maguire (29) made headlines after the car they were travelling in collided head-on with a lorry as it was driven the wrong way down the N7 near Rathcoole on the night of last July 7.

The three all had links to those who were stopped in a car in south Dublin last week and, sources said, they “worked with them on occasion”.

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