Gardaí in Ireland are urging building and agricultural material providers who may have fallen victim to theft in recent months to come forward and report the crimes. A number of reports have been received by the authorities regarding people visiting retail premises and providing fraudulent credit card details in order to purchase goods. Once the transaction is authorised, the perpetrators leave the premises with the goods. It is only later discovered by the retailer that the card details provided were fraudulent. There has been an increase in this type of criminal activity since December, with reported thefts of this type and method occurring in several counties across the country, including Leitrim, Westmeath, Kildare, Monaghan, Tipperary, Laois, Meath, Waterford, Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Offaly, Cork, and Wexford. These incidents have predominately occurred at hardware stores, building providers, and local agricultural co-operatives.
An incident room has been established at Thurles Garda Station in Co. Tipperary as part of efforts to tackle this spate of thefts. A senior investigating officer has been appointed to lead those efforts. Gardaí are urging any potential victims of these crimes, at any location, and who have not already reported such incidents, to contact Thurles Garda Station, the Garda confidential line, or any Garda station, so that a full investigation can be conducted.
In other news, farmers in Longford and Roscommon have been urged by gardaí to assess and improve security on their holdings following reports of thefts from farms across both counties in recent weeks. Opportunist thieves can strike at any time of the year, particularly in poorly lit rural areas. “A typical farmer will have a lot of expensive tools and machinery on their farms that can cost tens of thousands of euros to replace, if stolen,” said Sgt. Damian Bartley, crime prevention officer for Roscommon/Longford. “That’s before you even take into consideration the serious inconvenience that having equipment stolen will cause,” he added.
It is important for farmers to take steps to protect their property and equipment, such as installing security cameras, ensuring gates and doors are locked, and marking tools and machinery with unique identifiers. Sgt. Bartley also advised farmers to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities immediately.
Theft is a serious issue for farmers, with rural crime rates continuing to rise in Ireland. In addition to theft of equipment and machinery, livestock theft is also a growing concern. In recent years, there have been reports of entire herds of cattle being stolen from farms. The cost of such thefts can be devastating for farmers, both financially and emotionally. The authorities are urging farmers to take all necessary precautions to protect their property and livestock, and to report any incidents of theft or suspicious activity to the Gardaí.