Renewed warning to businesses after spate of break ins

GARDAI have renewed their warning to retail business owners after a spate of break ins around the county.

The latest incident occurred overnight in the early hours of Thursday morning when SuperValu in Dungloe was targeted,  the fifth incident within three weeks. Businesses in Laghey, Letterkenny and Killygordon have also been targeted by criminals who Gardai say have “a considerable amount of knowledge of the layout and security equipment installed on the premises”.

Criminals are stealing items that are easily turned into cash on the black market such as Cigarettes, Beauty products, Razor Blades, Off licence products such as high end whiskey, brandy and liquors. Gardai have warned that cash should not be held overnight as it is the primary target of the burglars in these attacks.


Owners and managers have also been advised to review security arrangements and surveillance equipment in order to ‘target harden’ their premises and increase its ability to withstand robust criminal attack. Business owners are also being requested to agree a protocol with local Gardaí on responding to Intruder Alarm Activations on their premises.

Sgt Paul Wallace Divisional Crime Prevention Officer based at Letterkenny Garda Station said: “Commercial premises in various parts of the county have been the target of criminals in recent weeks. The criminals involved are very focused well equipped and are very determined to gain access. In a number of locations power tools and equipment used to gain access were discarded at the scene. We would appeal to any persons who have had tools i.e. grinders, petrol driven con saws, axes sledgehammers etc stolen, to report these thefts to their local Gardaí.

“In addition please take steps to secure this type of property in sheds or outbuildings so they cannot be accessed by the criminal and used in the commission of crime.”

Sgt Wallace has recommended that intruder alarm systems should only be installed by persons who operate from an established business address that can be verified and registered with the P.S.A – Private Security Authority. Intruder Alarm systems in business premises should have a back up signalling facility via GSM / Radio back up link in order that they can operate in the event of a telephone line outage. CCTV systems should only be installed by competent registered persons. Hard drives have to be secured or have a back up facility.

“If the recording equipment is not secure – you may as well have no CCTV equipment at all,” warned Sgt Wallace.

Roof and attic spaces should have wire screening to prevent physical access and have monitoring capability by the alarm system. Roller shutters must be properly secured and if electrically operated have a remote power outage/kill switch. Lighting should operate internally in conjunction with alarm activation to draw attention to the premises. Perimeter lighting should illuminate well without black spots to assist camera images.

Safes should be securely mounted and have time locks fitted. The physical security i.e. perimeter fencing gates and condition of access doors is of paramount importance. Staff should be alert and report suspicious activity around the premises and be extra vigilant at opening and closing times. The public should be aware that the Gardai do not monitor alarm systems but provide a response if the system meets the requirements of the Intruder Alarm Policy.

Investigations are being coordinated from an Incident Room at Letterkenny Garda Station which can be contacted directly on 074-91-67170 during office hours or the General Station Number 074 91 67100 / Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.


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