Gardai in Donegal are warning the public to be on the look-out for opportunistic thieves targeting scrap metal.
Inspector Denis Joyce, who is based at the District Office in Ballyshannon, said yesterday that one such gang was recently apprehended in Creevy.
“We recently recovered a low-loader in Creevy last Thursday, with a van on it that had been stolen in Ballintra. The van had a scrap value of about €400.
“The three men, who are all from Belfast were arrested and brought to court in Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday, where they pleaded guilty to the theft.”
The men are due to be sentenced today at Sligo District Court.
Inspector Joyce said gardai are “concerned at the recent increase in these kinds of thefts.”
He added: “We’ve seen thefts of scrap metal, cable, steel girders and even a cattle trough taken from Pettigo. There is definitely a trend showing and increase in the theft of this type of property.
“We would ask anyone who has such items to ensure that they are properly secured or dispose of them through the services of a scrap metal dealer.”
Coincidentally, a local GAA club, Aodh Ruadh in Ballyshannon, is currently on a drive to collect scrap metal. The Scrap Saturday initiative has been organised to raise funds for the development of the new playing fields at Pairc Aodh Ruadh.
One of the organisers, Garda John Rooney, told the Democrat: “We are basically looking for old washing machines, scrap cars or machinery, car batteries, copper, brass, or aluminium - anything with a bit of metal in it.
“Items can be brought to Fr Tierney Park this Saturday or next Saturday between 9am and 5pm. Or, if you prefer, we can arrange to have the items collected. Just contact any club member, or ring 086 258 7793 or 086 211 2812.