Gardaí believe a man attacked during a burglary at his home was targeted by a gang of teenagers who knew he kept scrambler bikes and other property in his shed.
The 72-year-old man intervened when he saw a group of burglars breaking into the lock-up at his home outside Celbridge, Co Kildare, on Tuesday night.
When the burglars were disturbed at about 9.30pm, they responded by attacking the man before continuing with the robbery.
One of the teenagers escaped the scene on a stolen scrambler, with others likely fleeing on foot to the vehicles they had arrived in.
Detectives strongly suspect the location of the victim’s home, in the isolated Ardrass area, and his age likely contributed to him being selected as a so-called “easy target” by the gang.
The homeowner suffered head injuries amongst others and was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.
Though the man suffered a number of injuries and was shaken by the experience, gardaí expect he will recover. His condition was described as “serious but stable”, and gardaí were hopeful he could be discharged very soon, possibly even overnight.
A teenager was arrested during a follow-up search after the aggravated burglary and taken to Leixlip Garda station. He was detained for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows for him to be questioned for up to 24 hours without charge.
The scene of the robbery was sealed off and underwent a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau. A number of items, including some of the victim's clothing, were also taken for analysis. Gardaí are hopeful that those examinations will yield evidence linking the attackers to the crime.
Gardaí strongly suspect they know who the others involved in the robbery are. A group of young criminals active in west Dublin, and who often travel to surrounding counties to commit burglaries and other crimes, are the chief suspects. Some of the gang's members are from the Ballyfermot area.
Gardaí appealed to anyone with information about the incident or who may have been in the Ardrass Lower area around the time of the attack to contact Leixlip Garda station.