Thieves target cash and cigarettes in series of filling station break-ins
Detectives believe same gang behind three incidents in four nights in Cork and Kerry
Gardaí have described the break-ins as very well planned and executed by experienced individuals.
Gardaí in Cork have appealed to the public for assistance following a spate of break-ins at filling stations in the south -west where a gang have made off with a large quantity of cigarettes.
Gardaí believe the same gang are behind the three burglaries which began in the early hours of September 18th when a gang entered a petrol station at West End in Rathmore in Co Kerry and made off with cash and cigarettes.
The gang entered the shop from the rear, using an angle grinder to cut through wiring to disable the alarm system sometime between 1am and 6am on September 18th.
According to gardaí, the gang spent several hours inside the petrol station taking cash and cigarettes before leaving in a dark coloured car with their haul.
Gardaí believe the same gang are behind a similar style break-in on September 20th at a filling station at Béal na Bláth in Mid-Cork where again they used an angle grinder to cut the wires and disable the alarm.
The gang also used an angle grinder to cut a safe from a wall and they also made off with a large quantity of cigarettes with the break-in being discovered by the owner around 6am on Friday, September 20th.
Gardaí believe the same gang struck again on September 21st when sometime between midnight Friday and 4am on Saturday morning, they broke into a filling station at Ballinspittle in west Cork.
Garda technical experts have carried out forensic examinations at all three crime scenes in the hope of finding DNA or other evidence that would help them identify the culprits.
Gardaí have described the break-ins as very well planned and executed by a clearly experienced outfit and are examining whether the Cork and Rathmore break-ins may be linked to other such burglaries nationwide.
They are also investigating whether the gang may be dropping off members at the intended target to allow them carry out the burglary and then returning some time later to connect the gang members with their haul.
According to one Garda source, the gang sending their drivers and car to lie up elsewhere and not remain at the filling station means they do not arouse public suspicion from any passing motorists.
“These burglaries clearly take time to carry out so a car parked outside a filling station for hours might arouse suspicion so instead it seems they may send the driver away elsewhere and call him back when they are ready to leave.”
Anyone who noticed any suspicious in the Rathmore area on September, 18th, Béal na Bláth on September 20th and Ballinspittle on September 21st is asked to contact Bandon Garda Station on 023-8852200 or any Garda station.