Four men to appear in court over spate of rural burglaries

Men to appear in Mullingar District Court after being arrested on Wednesday

Gardaí have begun the  winter phase of Operation Thor, which targets the activities of roving criminal gangs targeting rural areas, last week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gardaí have begun the winter phase of Operation Thor, which targets the activities of roving criminal gangs targeting rural areas, last week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Four men are due to appear at Mullingar District Court on Friday morning in connection with a spate of robberies in rural areas.

The men were arrested in Lucan, Co Dublin on Wednesday having been intercepted by Garda units following a burglary in Mullingar Co Westmeath.

The four men, one in his 60s, one in his 20s and two in their 30s were detained at Mullingar Garda station under Section 4 of The Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

They were found to be in possession of jewellery believed to be the proceeds of burglaries, along with “house-breaking implements”.

Gardaí began the winter phase of Operation Thor, which targets the activities of roving criminal gangs, last week.

This directs “a range of operational activity be undertaken for the purpose of preventing a predictable upsurge in burglaries which occurs during the winter months”.

Senior gardaí were last week tasked with gathering “intelligence regarding organised crime gangs” who were travelling around the country to commit burglaries close to motorways for ease of escape, and nominating potential targets to monitor.

It followed about 40 burglaries in the Mayfield Garda district in Cork last month, which are believed to have been carried out by a Dublin-based gang. Members of the gang were said to have clocked up speeds of up to 200km/h on motorways during their getaways.

The men suspected of carrying out the Mullingar burglaries were said to have been driving a stolen, high-powered vehicle at the time of their arrest.