Crime gangs are paying youngsters up to €500 each to drive cars around the city and divert garda resources.
In recent weeks, officers have dealt with a number of significant pursuits in which more than 20 garda vehicles have been deployed in each incident to stop the reckless drivers.
Three different groups have been involved in the chases, with at least one crew being paid to intentionally cause mayhem.
Gardai believe that a group of young criminals were paid hundreds of euro each to steal a car and drive the vehicle across north Dublin recently to divert officers' attention away from more serious crime.
"There is still a serious amount of drugs being moved around," a source said.
"One chase on the northside distracted so many units recently.
"The intelligence suggests that they were paid €500 each by gangs moving drugs to keep the northside occupied and they did it very well.
"It's an age old tactic but is being used more frequently with less people on the streets at the moment.
"Garda operations into the city's big players are continuing despite this unprecedented situation and there have been significant seizures," the source added.
In one chase last week, dozens of gardai, including armed units and the Air Support Unit, were deployed for a single chase which resulted in a number of arrests.
A west Dublin group of young men has also been involved, while investigations have also been continuing into a separate gang suspected of being heavily involved in car thefts and joyriding in recent weeks.
It can be revealed that a key member of that gang was yesterday arrested by gardai for a range of offences.
The 18-year-old thug is suspected of stealing up to 20 cars in a fortnight and has been arrested several times by gardai.
Two weeks ago he was released from garda custody but is suspected of stealing a number of cars in the Ashbourne and Dunshaughlin areas of Meath.
Last week, in a separate incident, he caused thousands of euro worth of damage during a chase which the brazen thugs also recorded on video.
He was wanted for questioning by separate gardai and was arrested yesterday afternoon by officers.
"This guy was wanted by a number of different units, including Blanchardstown and Ballymun," the source said.
"He has been flat out in the last month and is being quizzed over a chase last week as well as a number of other offences."
The teenager and his gang - which is based in Ballymun as well as Blanchardstown - have been targeting Japanese imported cars such as Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda models, which do not have particularly rigid security systems and have been stolen without access to the key fobs.
In one of the thefts which took place in Ashbourne last month, a Honda car owned by a garda's wife was taken from outside her home.
"This fella is completely out of control. After being arrested he even took to social media to mock gardai and boast about his criminal activities," a source previously said.
"He is no criminal mastermind but his activities are causing huge concern for gardai and a special operation is being planned to take him down."