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Clean sweep Gang stole €190,000 from Kildare home before dousing scene with bleach

It is understood the gang gained access to the property through a side door and ransacked every room.

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Gardai are investigating a €190,000 burglary carried out in broad daylight at the home of a well-known businesswoman.

It is understood to be one of the biggest residential burglaries in the State this year.

The gang responsible threw bleach all over the property in a bid to frustrate forensic investigations before fleeing.

One suspect, who is currently on bail in relation to a serious drugs charge, has already been arrested but released without charge in the major probe, which is being carried out by officers based in Leixlip.

They are investigating a break-in at the home of the 70-year-old woman at around 10am last Wednesday in the north Kildare town.

No one was at home at the time.

It is understood the gang gained access to the property through a side door and ransacked every room.

They got away with €180,000 in cash and an estimated €10,000 worth of jewellery.

The homeowner was informed of suspicious activity while she was in work and gardaí were then notified of the incident.

By the time officers arrived at the property, the gang had fled the scene.

No descriptions of the burglars or how they got to and from the property were available.

However, after the break-in, a massive investigation by Leixlip gardaí began and officers trawled through CCTV footage.

This led them to arrest a 35-year-old man in the Lucan area on Saturday afternoon, and he was taken to Leixlip garda station.

The suspect, who is currently on bail in relation to a massive cocaine seizure earlier this year, was questioned for 24 hours before being released without charge on Sunday.

Sources said officers do not believe he acted alone in the crime.

None of the cash or jewellery has been recovered.

A garda spokesman said a file will be prepared for the DPP.

“Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information to contact them at Leixlip Garda Station on (01) 666 7800 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111. Investigations are ongoing,” the spokesman added.

The arrested 35-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons is understood to be “desperately in need of cash” after being charged in relation to the cocaine seizure, which was one of the biggest busts at the time.

He was detained following a surveillance operation.

“The fact that bleach was used in this burglary shows that this gang are forensically aware and it is suspected that they had planned this crime for some time,” a senior source said.

The female victim of the crime is said to be “extremely upset” about what happened.

Apart from the stolen cash and jewellery, damage was caused by the gang when they broke into the house.

Gardaí said residential burglary has fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a sharp reduction observed in March and April as a result of government restrictions on work, travel, school and business.

From March to August inclusive, there were 43pc fewer residential burglaries reported compared with the same period last year.

Jewellery and cash make up 75pc of the total value of items stolen from homes.

“Burglary can happen at any time day or night. However, during winter months most burglaries occur between 4pm and 9pm,” a garda spokesman said.

Herald


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