Gardai are urging homeowners to ensure that no cash is kept in their homes, that all windows and doors are locked and lights are left on after four homes in Co Leitrim were broken into over the weekend.
On Saturday, November 30 a property at Edenville, Kinlough was broken into some time between 2.30pm and 8.50pm. The back door of the property was forced in and the house was ransacked and a sum of cash was stolen.
On the same date a home in the Deerpark area of Manorhamilton was broken into some time between 1pm and 6.40pm. In this instance the thieves forced their way into the house via a rear window.
On Sunday, December 1 gardaí were notified of a break-in at a property in the Gortinty area of Annaduff.
The owners of the property called gardaí after they returned home at 8.35pm. The front door of the property had been forced open and it is believed the homeowners disturbed the thieves when they arrived back at the house.
Another property in Drumsna was broken into sometime between 8.30pm on Sunday, December 1 and 10am on December 2. A window was forced open in this instances.
Gardaí are investigating the possibility that there may be links in some of these cases but they are also urging people to be aware of the increased risk of burglaries in the lead-up to Christmas.
A spokesperson for the Leitrim garda division said that the most common time for burglaries to occur is between 5pm and 11pm. She said that there were a number of steps people can take to minimise their risk of being targeted by thieves:
- Do not keep large sums of money or jewellery in your home.
- Ensure that keys to your property and vehicles are stored well away from letterboxes and windows.
- Leave the lights on if you leave your property or, if you are away for extended periods consider putting your lights on times.
- Ensure there are no bushes or trees which could provide cover for burglars beside your property.
- Consider installing security lighting.
- Ensure all windows and doors are locked, even if you are leaving your home for a very short period.
- Never publicise your movements on social media.
- If you are expecting deliveries of items, especially following the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales ensure you are there to collect them, or , if you cannot be home, ask that deliveries be dropped with a neighbour or family member. There have been instances where parcels have been stolen from outside houses and gardaí warn that uncollected items such as mail or deliveries only highlights the fact that your home is unoccupied to would-be thieves.
Finally, if you do notice any suspicious vehicles or people in your local area immediately contact gardai who can quickly disseminate information through local text alert schemes if there is a suspicious vehicle or activity in your area.
There are two 24 hour stations in Co Leitrim and they can be contacted on the following numbers: Carrick-on-Shannon on (071) 9650510 or Manorhamilton on (071) 9820620. Please contact them immediately if you see anything unusual.
Further advice on how to protect your home is available on www.garda.ie
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