Burglars force Limerick restaurant owner to go cashless

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A CCTV still of the latest burglary in progress at Tuscany Bistro.

A LIMERICK restauranteur has declared a “cashless” war on burglars after her premises was targeted three times in the past three months.

As Gardaí highlighted a Europe-wide focus day on burglaries, Sabrina Amedeo, owner of Tuscany Bistro, said she took the decision to operate a “cashless restaurant” in response to three recent break-ins at her premises in Newtown, Castletroy.

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While it’s understood there are a handful of cashless restaurants in Dublin, Ms Amedeo said she believes her restaurant is the first in Limerick to go entirely cashless.

“It’s safer for our employees, and safer for our business. Hopefully these burglars who causing us such hassle will bugger off now,” Ms Amedeo told the Limerick Post.

“We’ve had too many burglaries recently. They haven’t stolen a penny but they have caused a lot of damage and disruption to the business. We feel we have no choice. They are clearly looking for cash, so lets give them zero incentive,” she added.

Ms Amedeo explained her business has a modern security system but despite this she now hopes to extend the cashless business to her restaurants in Limerick City, and in Ballina/Killaloe.

“We need a Garda station in Castletroy and we need more Garda visibility,” she added.

At a recent joint policing committee meeting, Fianna Fáil councillor Jerry O’Dea said criminals had “little fear of being caught as Henry Street Garda Station  is so far from the area and so under-resourced.”

Calling for a Garda station in the City East District, he said that in the “local area plan for Castletroy, the population is projected to increase by almost 100 per cent by 2040, and, despite this there is no mention of a Garda station.”

Ms Amedeo said Gardaí have been “outstanding” and are “doing everything they can do with the resources they have”.

The thieves who targeted her Castletroy business can quickly access routes along the Limerick to Dublin motorway, she said.

“They are in and out in five minutes,” she added.

Senior Gardaí are looking into whether or not increased resources could be deployed to the district.

However, they have said that drastic refurbishments would be needed at Castleconnell Garda Station, a distance of 7.5km from Ms Amedeo’s business, in order to accommodate any extra personnel there.