Gang steal dozens of cars a week in ad scam
Gardai are investigating a scam by an organised crime gang suspected of handling dozens of stolen cars every week.
A north Dublin Traveller mob are stealing cars after being contacted by members of the public who have seen adverts offering to buy vehicles.
The gang are closely linked to another Dublin outfit who are raking in tens of thousands of euro each week in a sophisticated scam involving high-quality forged NCT certs.
Gardai in Ballyfermot are investigating the latest incident which happened in the Citywest area of Dublin on Saturday when a woman tried to sell her VW Passat.
A source said she called a mobile phone number that she saw in an ad offering to buy cars.
The same number features on several different car websites.
"She made contact with this crowd, and after a bit of haggling a price was agreed and she was asked where her car was and when could they meet," the source said.
"Unfortunately for her, she gave her address details which was where the car was and told them she would meet them within the hour as she wasn't at home when she spoke to these people.
"By the time she got there, it turned out the criminals had been there first and her car was gone. They had loaded it on to a tow truck and simply driven off."
The car was stolen within minutes of the phone call being made by the woman.
Attempts to catch the suspects have so far been unsuccessful.
When the woman tried to make contact on various different mobile phones, there was no answer.
She then contacted gardai and lodged an official complaint.
Gardai are investigating multiple incidents of this type, but the gang involved in the scam remain "highly prolific", according to sources.