QUAD bikes are disappearing at an alarming rate from farms in County Limerick and local councillors believe “local knowledge” has to be a factor in these crimes.
Speaking at this month’s Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District meeting, Fine Gael councillor Stephen Keary highlighted a spate of quad bike robberies in the area in recent months. Thieves, he maintains, appear to have local knowledge and information of the geography involved.
“A common denominator is that these robberies are carried out on dairy farms visited by certain kinds of truck,” he alleged.
“People have bought brand new quad bikes and had them stolen the very next day. They have then gone and replaced them and they are stolen again. There has to be local information or something we’re missing here.”
According to Independent councillor Richard O’Donoghue, seven quad bikes have been stolen in Croom recently and another four in Bruree.
“Around 27 quad bikes have been stolen. They must be getting their information from somewhere,” he added.
Inspector Brian O’Donovan of Newcastle West Garda Station told local councillors that quad bikes and clothing had been recovered during one recent sting operation and two men are currently in custody.
Independent councillor Emmett O’Brien told the Garda Inspector that people were living in fear.
“There is an element of futility in reporting crime and a perception there’s a lack of Gardaí. There is the absence of a personal touch and I’m worried about a breakdown in trust,” said Cllr O’Brien.
“There is fear. People are afraid. Not just older people but young families too.”
Cllr O’Brien also raised concerns about rural crime spotters being used to help facilitate crime in County Limerick. Councillors spoke of reports of homes being marked for burglary by criminals in the area.
“I haven’t heard of it in Limerick in the last three years. I’ve seen it in other areas, but not here,” Inspector O’Donovan replied.
by Alan Jacques