‘awful scene’  | 

Notorious burglary gang used hammers to smash TVs and toilet as they ransacked garda’s home

“There was nothing of material value for them to take so they just smashed the place up because they discovered they were in the home of a garda.”
A screengrab from CCTV of a safe being lifted into car during the Donnybrook burglary

A screengrab from CCTV of a safe being lifted into car during the Donnybrook burglary

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

A burglary gang ransacked a garda’s home, causing thousands of euro worth of damage, after finding the officer’s official notebook during the break-in.

The notorious Tallaght-based gang were on a crime spree when they broke into the respected officer’s family home and used hammers to smash up furniture, TVs, tiles in the house and even a toilet.

It is understood they went on the vandalism orgy after finding out the homeowner was a garda when they found his official notebook as they burgled the property.

“There was nothing of material value for them to take so they just smashed the place up because they discovered they were in the home of a garda,” a senior source said.

“It was clearly an awful scene for the garda and his family to be confronted with. The belief is that happened because of pure spite.”

The highly respected garda lives near Tullow, Co Carlow, but works a Kildare station.

No one was in the family home when the gang struck in the shocking daylight attack on the evening of May 1 last.

A dozen armed gardaí raided homes of the suspects, in a counter-offensive against the organised crime gang, on Monday, seizing one high-powered car and two caravans.

The operation was co-ordinated by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), which was backed up by detectives from Carlow and Tallaght.

The targeted gang are the same crew who are suspected of using a stolen Mercedes to target luxury homes in south Dublin in recent weeks.

They crashed their high-powered Merc in the early hours of Friday after stealing around 10 high-end watches and a personal safe in another burglary spree in the upmarket Foxrock and Donnybrook areas of south Dublin, which was estimated to have netted them over €100,000.

The gang were caught on CCTV stealing the safe from a property in Donnybrook.

The same gang are suspected of using a stolen high-powered black VW Golf R-Line in a spree of crimes across the south-east and other parts of the country, in which the motorway network was used by the criminals.

The targeted gang are the same crew who are suspected of using a stolen Mercedes to target luxury homes in south Dublin in recent weeks.

The targeted gang are the same crew who are suspected of using a stolen Mercedes to target luxury homes in south Dublin in recent weeks.

Detectives are confident after Monday’s raid that they now have the keys to this vehicle and are liaising with English police to determine whether the car had been stolen in northern England earlier this year.

“It is now a case of trying to locate this car,” a senior source said.

Among the burglaries being investigated by specialist detectives is the attack on the garda’s home on the evening of May 1.

It is understood the ransacking of the garda’s home was one of five crimes in less than two hours linked to the VW Golf R-Line.

“The individuals who are suspected of carrying out this crime and many, many more are based in Tallaght and they carry out burglaries for a living – it is their occupation,” the source said.

“They generally go for unoccupied homes so you could say that they are not looking for violence but what happened in that home, where you have lads prepared to destroy everything in it, shows that they are well capable of violence.”

No arrests were made in Monday’s operation targeting the notorious and prolific gang are understood to be very concerned that gardaí now have the keys to their prime vehicle.

A central figure of the burglary gang is a 26-year-old criminal who has been linked to cross-Border and rural burglaries.

A close associate of this man is a 27-year-old criminal from Tallaght who was previously jailed after being caught with nearly €100,000 in stolen jewellery.

The burglary team also have associates in the Carlow area, including a father and son who were previously arrested in relation to a burglary in the county.

Gardaí believe they are all part of a wider criminal network of over 30 burglars involved in targeting homes across the country and over the Border in the North.


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