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Dublin criminal arrested over theft from car of Ukrainian couple who fled to Ireland

The suspect in custody is well known to officers.

Olena and Anass fled Kyiv and arrived in Ireland just two weeks ago

Ken Foy

A man with dozens of previous convictions has been arrested over the theft of items from a car belonging to a Ukrainian couple who had arrived in Ireland just two weeks earlier after fleeing the war-torn country.

The suspect who is aged in his 40s and from the Ballymun area is expected to appear before court on Tuesday charged with theft and criminal damage offences.

His arrest on Monday followed a long running investigation by local detectives into the crime against the couple who were staying in the Travelodge in Ballymun.

A laptop, tablet, guitar, clothes and shoes were stolen and gardai are continuing to attempt to find these items.

The suspect in custody is well known to officers.

His arrest follows a major intelligence led investigation by Ballymun gardai who viewed dozens of hours of CCTV as part of their investigation.

Olena and her husband Anass fled Kyiv as soon as the Russian invasion began. The couple, who did not want their second names revealed, left Ukraine and drove through a number of countries before reaching France and then Ireland.

"We were living near the Boryspil airport in Kyiv, so we were first to hear the bombing. We just gathered whatever we could gather, and started driving and didn't stop," said Anass.

They left Ukraine and drove through Slovakia, Czechia, Germany and Belgium before arriving in France. From there, they got the ferry from Cherbourg to Dublin Port.

Well over €15,000 has been raised for the couple on a GoFundMe page when it emerged that it was not possible them to get their insurance to cover the cost of the missing items.

In a update Olena said: "We appreciate any help. Much love and respect."

Anass, who praised Gardai who carried out a forensic examination of the scene and found blood and gathered CCTV of the perpetrator, said: "What took us by surprise was that they could see that it was Ukrainian plates on the car.

"For us it was just the idea that the whole world knows about Ukraine and so to see a Ukrainian car with plates and break into it and steal our belongings.

"It was obvious we are refugees and this is all we have...And to feel comfortable going through all of our stuff and everything it just felt so inhumane but then we are not the kind of people who would judge everyone here on one incident."

Tonight officers have confirmed details of the arrest operation in north Dublin.

“Gardaí in Ballymun have arrested a man in his 40s as part of an ongoing investigation into the theft of property from a car parked in an underground car park of a hotel in Ballymun on 24th March, 2022,” a garda spokesman told Independent.ie tonight.

“Following extensive enquires, local detectives at Ballymun arrested a man in 40s in the Ballymun area on Monday, 18 April, 2022. The man was detained for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Ballymun Garda Station.

“He has since been charged in connection with the case and is expected to appear before a sitting of Dublin District Court CCJ No 4 on Tuesday, 19 April 2022.

“Efforts to recover the property taken are continuing,” the spokesman explained.


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