Thieves caught on camera with stolen bikes after break-in
Two thieves who ransacked a family's home and made off with jewellery, wedding rings and two bikes were caught on a car's dashboard camera as they escaped.
The two men broke into the home in Lucan in Co Dublin by forcing the back door.
"I got home after having lunch with my parents, and realised that my front door was locked from the inside," said homeowner Iram Miraz.
"I looked around the back of the house and realised that the back patio door had been forced in."
Afraid to enter the house in case the thieves were still inside, Mrs Miraz called gardai.
When she did go inside she found her home had been ransacked.
"All our belongings were all over the place. They literally went through every place they could in the house," she said.
Among the items taken were four baby rings belonging to her two-month-old daughter, a watch given to her husband as a wedding gift, and two bikes valued at around €1,350.
Later that day a neighbour contacted the family to say he had spotted the two thieves cycling off on the stolen bikes - and his dash cam had recorded it all.
The dash cam footage shows the two men, aged in their early 20s, casually leaving the area after burgling and ransacking the property.
"We've shared the pictures of the two men, so hopefully somebody can identify them. The time on the camera footage shows that the men left our house at 3.02pm. I only got home at 3.15pm.
"If I had come home while they were still there who knows what would have happened," Mrs Miraz said.
"These people don't care, they probably would have attacked me. It's frightening to think about," she added.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of burglaries in the west Dublin area.
The most recent figures for the first six months of 2014 show that there were more than 1,000 burglaries committed across the Dublin Metropolitan Region West area alone.
A total of 1,092 home burglaries were carried out in that period, averaging at just over six a day.
Lucan experienced a similar spate in crimes in January last year, when 18 homes were broken into in the space of a week.
Last week, the Herald reported how one lucky young boy in west Dublin had his stolen bike returned.
Shane Cunningham (7) was left "devastated" by the theft of his bike, worth more than €350.
CCTV images of that theft were circulated on social media and the culprit was caught.
"We just didn't let it go," Shane's mum Yvonne said, advising residents to install cameras at their houses.
She said her son was now "over the moon" to have his bike back.
While there has been a series in burglaries in west Dublin the number being committed on a national level have decreased by around 10pc over the last year. Operation Fiacla, an operation being set up specifically to tackle burglars, has been identified as a primary reason for the drop in crimes.
Operation Acer has since been set up in co-ordination with Operation Fiacla.
The intelligence-driven operation includes analysis-led checkpoints and patrols to target specific areas and repeat offenders.