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Manhunt UK police hunt Irish tracking gang after spate of burglaries

Suspected gang members Jonathan Connors and Michael McInerney both featured on BBC’s Crimewatch programme

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Michael McInerney

Michael McInerney

Michael McInerney

Two men accused of being members of an Irish burglary gang are still being hunted in the UK for a series of raids in which tracking devices were used to target victims.

The gang had planned to use the trackers to monitor Chinese takeaway owners and then raid their homes for cash and valuables while they were at work.

But police in Newcastle were able to intercept the tracking data and warned potential victims the gang had them in their sights.

The thieves did strike at one property in November 2019 but the police tip-off meant they were not able to steal anything of value.

Officers tracked down the gang to a rented property in the UK midlands where they identified the four suspects who had travelled from Ireland.

One of those was Terrence O’Reilly who was caught on CCTV buying runners in a supermarket he later wore in one of the raids.

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Terence O'Reilly

Terence O'Reilly

Terence O'Reilly

Forensic evidence showed that footprint marks from the shoes had been found at the scene before they were seized at the midlands’ property.

Pictures of the four suspects were circulated by Northumbria Police and the 22-year-old was arrested in Scotland in January last year for suspected driving offences.

Last July, O’Reilly, from Dublin, Ireland, was jailed for two years and seven months at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary.

Those still wanted by UK police are Jonathan Connors also known as Jonathan Sluesy who is also wanted for his part in a 2019 burglary in Reading where cash, jewellery and watches were stolen.

He is described as having links to Dublin, Carlow as well as Derbyshire in the UK.

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Jonathon Connors also known as Jonathon Sluesy

Jonathon Connors also known as Jonathon Sluesy

Jonathon Connors also known as Jonathon Sluesy

Michael McInerney (27) is wanted by police in Surrey as well as Northumbria following a burglary in Epsom and both men recently featured on BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

A fourth suspected member of the gang named was arrested by Northumbrian police last year is on bail charged with conspiracy to burglary.

Speaking after O’Reilly’s conviction last year Detective Constable Glenn Page said: “This was a sophisticated and planned operation by a gang of thieves who entered our region with the sole intention of committing crime.

“They have visited multiple shops to buy the tools needed to carry out the raids and used second-hand clothing in a bid to avoid being detected through forensics.

“It is only thanks to the teamwork between officers in Northumbria, Ireland and at the Metropolitan Police that we were able to identify the suspects at an early stage.

“Once we intercepted their tracking devices, and began to learn more about how they operated, we were able to prevent them from stealing anything of real significance.

“Huge amounts of work has gone in to bringing Terrence O’Reilly into custody and securing a conviction and a team of detectives worked day and night to make that possible.

“Anyone who feels they can travel into our Force area to commit crime should look at this case and come to the realisation that they will be met by the full force of the law.

“Our investigation is not over, however, and we will continue to work tirelessly with our colleagues across the UK and Ireland to bring those outstanding offenders into custody.”

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