GARDAI in Letterkenny are appealing to people to exercise vigilance as winter approaches following a spate of burglaries around the county in recent days.
In the most recent incident, the back door of a house at Long Lane, Newtowncunningham, was forced open and entry gained on Saturday, October 29, at 9.20pm.
One bedroom was ransacked and a second bedroom was entered but when the intruder realised that the resident of the house was in bed, they fled.
Nothing was taken from the property.
CCTV was viewed and three people can be observed entering the property.
All three were wearing hats, gloves and face coverings.
Three burglaries took place on Friday, October 28.
A resident left her house at Kildrum, Upper Killea, in Carrigans between 8pm and 10.30pm to visit a relative.
When the woman returned, she discovered that the front door had been kicked in and the house had been ransacked.
An Apple iPad was stolen from the property.
Meanwhile, a sum of money, two watches and two gold rings were stolen from a property in the area of Porthall, Lifford, between 7.35pm and 8.45pm. The side patio door of the property was forced open and the house was ransacked.
Around the same time, gardaí were contacted by a homeowner at Slievebuck, Raphoe, at 7.40pm. They had observed activity on their ‘ring doorbell’ a short time beforehand and felt that something wasn’t right.
“Gardaí went immediately to the address and saw that the door and window of the house had been forced open. This burglary is believed to have happened between 7.30pm and 7.40pm. Nothing had been stolen from the property.
Gardaí are appealing to anyone who has any relevant information in relation to any of these incidents to contact Letterkenny Garda Station on (074) 9167100. The Garda Confidential line may be reached on 1800 666 111.
A garda spokesperson said keeping a burglar out starts with keeping gates closed.
“An open gate is an invitation onto your property, but if a criminal has to climb over a gate or wall, they know that trespassing increases their chances of getting caught.”
Gardai advise people to turn on lights (LED bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs), use timer switches/motion detectors, lock all doors and use an alarm to deter burglars.
Cash and jewellery remain the target of burglars.
“Please don’t keep large amounts of cash at home and consider a certified safe if you have expensive jewellery. If you have a firearm/firearms at your property, please ensure that they are secured properly. Store keys away from windows.
“Burglars don’t generally target occupied properties, so making your home look like there is someone at home is a great deterrent. Smart home security devices such as video doorbells are a great tool for protecting your property when you’re not around.
“More affordable than traditional CCTV systems, they can be self-installed and ensure you can view a live feed from the camera through your smartphone even when you’re not at home.
“They allow you to remotely speak with a caller, giving the impression that someone is at home.
“Always report any suspicious activity/vehicles in your area to Gardaí without delay.”