Garda Kenny Coughlan demonstrating how the Property Marking Machine works in practive on a steel plate, watched by Garda Alan Sheridan.

Travelling gangs fleecing car and home owners

Already, 360 households in the Redhills area have signed up to a new Community Text Alert scheme, which was officially launched in Killoughter Hall on Monday night. It comes as gardaí issue a stern warning about personal security in the face of travelling criminal gangs fleecing home and car owners.

Garda representatives also used the occasion to demonstrate a new property marking machine, which allows property owners to stamp their valuables such as tools and garden equipment with your own unique Eircode, so that it can be returned to you, if stolen. They are appealing to members of the public and Community Text Alert groups county wide to borrow the machine from Cavan County Council to stamp valuables.
Those signed up to the new scheme in Redhills will now receive text alerts from the gardaí. Signs, warning would-be perpetrators that the text alerty scheme is in operation, will be erected on 18 poles at strategic sites around the area.
Inspector Niall McKiernan told the meeting that he has been actively involved with community alert groups since 2008. “Each community alert group takes on a life of its own and takes in a lot more than just crime prevention.” He said gardaí were present to help and support them and declared: “We need your support and report anything suspicious you see immediately – this gives us key information at an early stage in the investigation”.
The text alert liaison officer Garda Kenny Dolan warned people not to leave their cars running outside their homes, unattended, for any duration, however short.
“In the last four or five weeks, three vehicles in the district have been stolen. They were parked either at the front or back door of homes – some of these vehicles have been recovered across the Border,” he revealed.
Chains can be got for doors and Gda Dolan said, while it is “very sad that we have to keep our doors locked and you have to lock your car outside your own house, the reality is that is the way things have gone”.

Travelling gangs

He further revealed: “These criminals gangs are not local – a lot of them are travelling criminals from around the country; a lot of them are from outside the country, they might fly in or come in on a ferry on a Monday, they drive around the country and hit three or four counties, back onto the ferry and they are gone; then there is another crew coming in behind them, criminal organisations, but they all have got ties in this country as well."
Vanessa Clarke, development officer with Muintir na Tire, complimented the committee on their productive work in a short time.

Local Link

Meanwhile, the secretary of Redhills Text Alert Committee, Martina O'Rourke, told those at the meeting that the Local Link Bus is scheduled to provide a service to and from the village within the next three months and planning permission has been submitted to provide a bus stop in the village.