A MAJOR haul of stolen power tools and equipment worth tens of thousands of euros has been seized by gardaí in Mountmellick.
The substantial raid is a significant breakthrough in the battle against roving criminals in the midlands, who have carried out a spate of tool thefts in recent months.
The valuable discovery was made by Laois gardaí at the weekend during a routine patrol in the early hours of the morning.
In the course of the patrol, gardaí stopped a van pulling a trailer in Irishtown, Mountmellick at about 4am last Saturday. On searching the trailer, they discovered a huge collection of power tools and assorted equipment that had been stolen in a variety of burglaries.
The driver was brought to a garda station for questioning and prosecutions are expected to follow. The extensive range of stolen equipment is being catalogued and gardaí are attempting to identify owners across the midlands. Anyone who recognises the property in the photographs can email [email protected]
Some owners have already been identified as a result of property marking. An open day will be held at a garda station at a later date, which can be attended by anyone whose power tools and other equipment were recently stolen. According to gardaí, some of the property was stolen in Co Kildare.
As a result of the large number of valuable tool thefts in Laois and the midlands over the past few months, gardaí have repeatedly warned tradespeople and other owners to lock their vans at all times, even if they are leaving vehicles unattended for only a few minutes. Many of the raids are opportunistic, with thieves constantly on the lookout for easy targets.
Meanwhile, a valuable digger was stolen from the Crettyard area between 5.15pm last Thursday and 8am on Friday. The Daewoo Doosan Solar 030 was taken from Killeen Bridge. Gardaí in Abbeyleix are investigating the theft and are appealing to anyone with information to contact them on 057 8731202.
Laois-Offaly crime prevention officer Graham Kavanagh is also advising key holders or garage owners to contact gardaí before attending alarm activations at night, following a number of burglaries across the county. He said: “This is to ensure the safety and security of the owner or keyholder and to ensure that premises are secure.”