Over 1,000 pieces of jewellery seized in Operation Fiacla

Garda effort targets groups involved in residential burglaries across the State

Gardai are seeking to reunite jewellery with its rightful owners after the recovery of over 1,000 items of jewellery in February following search operations carried out under Operation Fiacla. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

More than 1,000 pieces of jewellery, including items worth up to €4,000, have been seized by gardaí as part of Operation Fiacla, targeting groups involved in residential burglaries across the State.

The silver and gold items, which include watches, necklaces, engagement rings, bracelets and medals, were recovered as a result of a search operation that was carried out on Sunday, February 22nd.

Some of the jewellery has already been identified by its owners, including a necklace worth €4,000 which was stolen in Dún Laoghaire and a number of items which had been in a family for nearly six generations.

“We’re happy that we’re recovering a lot of this stolen property but we’re now anxious to restore the rest of it to its rightful owners,” Det Insp Noel Browne said.

Mr Browne said that he hopes more owners will come forward and contact gardaí after viewing the items online. He said that although some of the recovered jewellery may be of high monetary value, other pieces may be of huge sentimental value to their owner.

Mr Browne said: “We’re continuously emphasising the need for people to be conscious and aware of suspicious activity and we encourage people to contact us when and if they see something that they’re not happy with.”

Operation Fiacla

Under Operation Fiacla, gardaí examine burglaries across the State in an attempt to track down both the people who commit the crimes and those responsible for selling on the goods for profit.

“We believe that we’ve identified certain routes that criminals use to launder these stolen goods back into the legitimate jewellery market . . . within the jurisdiction here and we work with Europol and Interpol and other agencies abroad to track down where property is going,” Mr Browne said.

Mr Browne called on members of the public to go to the Garda website or on social media to view the items and to contact a dedicated Garda phone line on 01-6661999 to identify the jewellery.

The phone line is open from 9am-5pm during normal office hours. Potential owners can also contact gardaí at fiacla@garda.ie.

“We expect a large volume of calls so [we] ask people to be patient, we can arrange viewings to ensure that we can ID the property if at all possible.”

Mr Browne said that owners will be expected to produce serial numbers, photo records, proof of purchase or descriptions of specific markings in order to identify the jewellery.

“We’d ask people, when they have valuable property, be they of monetary or sentimental value, to photograph it and keep records, so that if unfortunately they are the victim of a crime, that will help us to identify [the property] and restore it to them.”

Mr Browne said that stolen goods may not be returned to their owner immediately as they could be used as evidence against the perpetrators.