A group of callous thieves have been targeting unoccupied single dwellings throughout the county in recent days. The majority appear to be taking place between 6pm and 11pm in the evenings.
In one 24-hour period, eighteen house burglaries alone were reported in the Donegal Garda Division. They are said to have taken place between 6am on Saturday and 6am on Sunday morning last.
In most cases, the thieves appear to be targeting houses with old type PVC doors and breaking what is known as the lock barrel. When the occupier returns to the house the damage to the door is often minimal and in some cases, almost undetecatable to the eye.
In another case, in the Ballybofey/Convoy area, a sum of £20,000 sterling was stolen. Such is the precision and stealth of the gang that in the case of one burglary the occupiers were in the house for fifteen minutes, before they realised something was amiss.
Cars rather than vans appear to be the modus operandi for their vehicles and they are using southern licence plates at present. It is also believed that while they are infiltrating rural areas, they try and keep close to main roads for a quick escape. The burgled houses are not ransacked in the traditional sense, but thieves are targeting known areas in the house where they believe valuables are kept.
Garda have appealed to anyone spotting suspicious activity to contact their local station as a matter of priority, as the thieves are said to be scouting areas in advance, although not exclusively so.
Occupants of houses should check that their doors are not only locked, but securely locked. They should also get a locksmith to fix the doors if not up to standard and get a reliable and trusted family member to have a look at them, in the first instance.
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