herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Five held in raids on €1m jewel heist gang suspects

Blanchardstown Garda Station
Blanchardstown Garda Station

A violent Romanian gang who are suspected of stealing over €1m worth of jewellery in four aggravated burglaries from Leinster shops are believed to have transferred the loot out of the country.

Armed detectives recovered no jewellery in a series of early morning raids in north Dublin yesterday morning when they arrested five suspects aged in their 30's and seized a number of mobile phones and computers.

The men were arrested during searches in the Balbriggan, Donabate and Blanchardstown areas as well as the north inner city in the early hours of yesterday.

Sources say that the suspicion is that the stolen jewellery has now been exported out of the country by the mob who are understood to have major international connections.

Exact details of all the aggravated burglaries were not available from gardai yesterday but the Herald can disclose that one of the incidents happened at a jewellery shop on South Main Street, Naas, Co Kildare, on October 20 last.

Well over €200,000 worth of jewellery was stolen in that raid when four men wearing balaclavas and armed with weapons entered the store at 4.15pm on that date. No one was injured in that incident.

Two similar burglaries are understood to have been carried out by the gang in Leinster in November with a further jewellery shop raid happening in December.

"This gang have been going into these shops with weapons and roughing up staff. It is unfortunate that none of the stolen property has been recovered," a source said.

JEWELLERY

"However these arrests are significant and the belief is that the activities of this organised crime gang have been disrupted," the source added.

Gardai have been monitoring a number of organised foreign gangs including Romanian criminals. There has been a spate of similar crimes in which jewellers have been targeted by Romanian gangs in the UK.

In May, 2013, a mob who stole gold worth over £1million in a series of raids on jewellery shops in England was jailed for a total of 82 years.

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