Five notorious burglary gang members arrested following high-speed chase and crash
All men in custody have close links to slain Tallaght burglary boss ‘Fat’ Andy Connors
Five members of a prolific criminal gang suspected of a burglary crime-wave across Leinster have been arrested following a high-speed chase on Tuesday night.
The men, aged between their teens and 40s, were detained following a garda pursuit along rural back roads that reached speeds of up to 160km/ph.
The suspects all have links to the Tallaght area and are being investigated for dozens of burglaries in recent weeks.
One of the arrested men is a veteran criminal who has only recently been released from a lengthy sentence for armed robbery.
All men in custody have close links to slain Tallaght burglary boss ‘Fat’ Andy Connors, including a very close associate of the murdered criminal aged in his late 20s.
This individual is understood to be currently on bail for a range of offences including burglary related crimes.
The gang also have close links to Nurney, Co Kildare, and are suspected of over half a dozen commercial and residential burglaries in three counties today – Kildare, Meath and Carlow.
Gardaí believe they have been using a high-powered Audi SQ5 which was stolen in London last month and have been carrying out detailed surveillance of the organised crime group.
The vehicle has also been linked to break-ins in most Leinster counties in recent weeks including Westmeath and Cavan.
One source said: "They have been using their usual modus-operandi, of hitting a rural area using a high-powered car in a blitz before moving onto the next target.
"They have also been changing the car's number plates daily in a further attempt to avoid detection."
They were being monitored by specialist gardaí as their crime spree continued throughout the day which led them to being picked up by officers in the Maynooth area shortly after 7pm, this led to the dramatic chase which also involved the garda helicopter.
The gang attempted to flee using back roads but eventually crashed and flipped their car near the Lidl on the Newbridge Road in Naas.
At least three of them required urgent medical attention with a close junior associate of ‘Fat Andy’ appearing to be crying at the scene.
However, none of the burglary gang’s injuries were described as serious.
A garda spokesman said: "Two men, aged in their 20s, are currently being detained at Naas garda station under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007.
"Three men, aged in their late teens, 20s and 40s, were taken to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries."
Gardaí will now question the gang in relation to a series of break-ins across the Leinster area in the past month as well as today's crimes.
Involved in tonight's significant operation were specialist anti-burglary detectives as well as local gardaí.
The situation could have become even more dangerous according to sources as the gang were driving into traffic which was expected to increase significantly with punters leaving a meeting at Punchestown Racecourse around half an hour after the pursuit ended.
A large number of garda units were involved in what sources say is a “very significant operation".
"This is a great result for gardaí and thankfully this operation concluded without any serious injuries and the arrests of five men suspected of being involved in an organised burglary gang," a source said.
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