Teen thugs targeting elderly in burglaries
Gardai are closing the net on a gang of teenage thugs who have preyed on elderly homeowners in a series of violent incidents across Dublin and Wicklow.
The juvenile gang, led by a 17-year-old, are the prime suspects in a number of burglaries over the past month in which the homes of pensioners were targeted.
A source told the Herald that the teens are suspected of committing a number of break-ins across the Wicklow and Dublin area and that the "prolific gang" have several previous convictions for burglaries.
The suspects are members of the Travelling community from the Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock areas of the capital.
In one incident, a couple aged in their 80s were tied up and threatened in their home by the gang as the property was ransacked.
The attack happened last month in the Briarswood estate in Bray.
Next day, a man in his early 80s was the target of a break-in in the Newtown Mount Kennedy area of Wicklow.
The victim was terrorised as the thugs threatened him and demanded to know the location of any cash and jewellery.
It is not believed the man was assaulted, but he is said to have been left "deeply shaken" as a result of his ordeal.
The same gang are also suspected of being involved in the assault of an OAP in the Monks- town area of Dublin.
The victim was confronted at his home by two raiders, one armed with a garden shears, who proceeded to attack the frail pensioner, punching him several times in the face and head.
He was also subjected to a torrent of abuse and threats from the pair, who continued to beat him as they demanded cash and jewellery.
The man's hands were tied and he was forced from room to room. The raiders escaped with a valuable haul of jewellery and a small amount of cash.
A source said the aggravated burglary was considered so serious that members of the Special Detective Unit were deployed in the area.