GARDAI are hunting a teenage shotgun gang responsible for assaulting a woman and terrorising an elderly man.
The gang of males in their late teens assaulted a woman, broke into the home of an elderly man and ransacked an empty house in a 14-hour period on Sunday. The crimes took place in a rural area of Co Carlow in the vicinity of Ballon, Myshall and Borris.
Gardai are fearful that the gang may be armed with two shotguns which were stolen during a robbery a week earlier.
The gang, which gardai believe is made up of three males in their late teens, is using the same modus operandi for each robbery.
The gardai in Carlow have been putting on extra patrols in an attempt to catch the gang in the act.
They are continually targeting isolated rural homes and are fleeing their crime scenes on foot -- although gardai believe that they are then using getaway vehicles parked nearby.
The first attack took place in the Graigue Na Spideogue area of Carlow at 8.30am on Sunday.
The gang was attempting to steal a ride-on lawnmower from the garage and hit a woman in her 30s from behind after she disturbed them.
A garda spokesperson told the Herald that the victim sustained facial injuries as a result of the incident.
"There were two of them in the garage when she disturbed them, but then she was hit from behind by another," said a garda spokesperson.
"The woman who was assaulted is very, very shaken, but she is okay."
Later that day, between 3pm and 7pm, the gang broke into a house in the Myshall area and stole jewellery.
Gardai said a neighbour spotted three males leaving the scene in a dark-coloured car.
They struck again at 9.15pm in the same area, when they threw a block through the window of a house, which they then ransacked.
"The alarm was activated there and they left, but they didn't make off with much," said a garda spokesperson.
"They were disturbed by a man during the course of the burglary and left the scene in a dark- coloured car in the direction of Ballon."
At 9.45pm, the gang targeted the home of a man in his 70s who lives alone outside Borris.
"Three guys wearing balaclavas kicked in his front door and demanded money. He told them he didn't have any and they left on foot. The man was not injured."
Gardai are advising people in the area affected to report any suspicious activity to them.
Anyone who witnessed or has information on any of the incidents are asked to contact their local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111.