Boy, 14, ar­rested for his role in seven bur­glar­ies

■ All took place in Kil­lar­ney, amid sharp in­crease in Kerry break-ins

Irish Examiner - - News - Anne Lucey

A 14-year-old has been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of seven bur­glar­ies in Kil­lar­ney over Christ­mas.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Tom My­ers told a meet­ing of the Joint Polic­ing Com­mit­tee in Kil­lor­glin on Fri­day that there has also been a sharp, yearly in­crease in house bur­glar­ies in Kerry, and that lo­cal, as well as rov­ing, crim­i­nals are re­spon­si­ble

The pub­lic is be­ing urged to re­port sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity, such as door-to-door call­ing, but also to “break the chain” and not to buy power tools and other good sat street fairs such as Puck Fair and Ken­mare’s an­nual Au­gust 15 fair un­less they can be sure of their prove­nance.

Trav­el­ling crim­i­nal gangs are ar­riv­ing in Kil­lar­ney town, drop­ping off in­di­vid­u­als, and pick­ing them up again when they have bro­ken into houses and taken cash, elec­tri­cal goods, and jew­ellery, said Su­per­in­ten­dent Flor Mur­phy.

Some 245 bur­glar­ies were recorded in Kerry in 2017, up from 171 the pre­vi­ous year, but none in­volved vi­o­lence against per­sons. Ve­hi­cle theft was also up sharply, to 124.

Sean Roche, a com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the JPC, said there had been “a scourge” of bur­glar­ies in south Kerry in re­cent years, and that peo­ple can no longer af­ford house in­sur­ance, “af­ter be­ing robbed day and night”. He also said “tourists are be­ing watched on Ross beigh and other beaches, and, when they come back, their stuff is gone”.

“It sends an aw­ful mes­sage out. We are a tourist county,” said Mr Roche.

Cam­eras must be placed at ma­jor junc­tions and bridges, such as Kil­lor­glin, as “we are on our own in south Kerry,” he added.

Stolen goods are be­ing sold on stalls at fairs, such as at Puck, said Fine Gael coun­cil­lor Pa­trick Con­nor-Scar­teen.

Kerry’s crime-preven­tion of­fi­cer, Sgt Jim Fo­ley, said ev­ery­one has a role to play and peo­ple buy­ing from bo­gus traders are “part of the prob­lem”.

“There is a chain to be bro­ken,” he said.

Sgt Fo­ley also urged the politi­cians at the meet­ing to lobby for tax re­lief for house alarms to en­cour­age house­hold­ers to get them.

Muin­tir na Tire rep­re­sen­ta­tive Diar­muid Cronin said the erec­tion of pic­ture signs of smash-and-grabs had dra­mat­i­cally de­creased thefts from cars on beaches in Co Cork.

Trav­el­ling gangs from east Kil­dare and Dublin are drop­ping off peo­ple at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Kil­lar­ney and col­lect­ing them af­ter they have bro­ken into empty houses. These op­por­tunis­tic crim­i­nals would typ­i­cally knock on doors and ask for di­rec­tions, if some­one an­swered. Gen­er­ally, their method is to then force in win­dows and doors, if the house is empty, Supt Mur­phy said.

Mass times or day times, when peo­ple are work­ing, are peak bur­glary times in Kerry, but a num­ber of nigh­t­ime bur­glar­ies took place in Kil­lar­ney over Christ­mas, and lo­cal peo­ple have been ar­rested.

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