Thieves given 24 hours to return stolen barbed wire

Thieves who stole a substantial amount of barbed wire from Midland Veterinary Portarlington in Co. Laois have been given 24 hours to return the stolen goods or face prosecution.

The wire was reportedly stolen last night after the Portarlington branch was broken into, according to a Facebook post.

The social media post has warned the public to be extremely wary if they are offered barbed wire for sale.

It is understood that “very clear CCTV images” were captured of the theft and that the “culprits are known to Gardai”.

However, the thieves have been given a chance to avoid prosecution. The Facebook post has pledged that, if the stolen items are returned within 24 hours, the culprits will not be prosecuted.

Prevalence of theft in the midlands

Of late, the midlands counties of Laois and Offaly came under the spotlight due to the “acute” level of rural crime taking place in recent years.

Turning the focus on the area, Newstalk programme The Pat Kenny Show investigated the prevalence. Last year saw a 6% jump in burglaries in the Laois/Offaly region, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Some 650 cases were recorded in 2017 – up 36 cases from the previous year.

During the show, Garda Graham Kavanagh – crime prevention officer for Laois/Offaly – noted that often it is local criminals who are committing the crimes.

He said: “There is one thing that we are continuously telling people when we go out to meetings; it’s not always the Dubs coming down to rob you, it’s not always the people from outside the area.

“A lot of the time when we actually catch the people, it’s our own indigenous criminals using the backroads. They have the local knowledge, they know the area, and they’re going in and stealing stuff from people.”