Early this morning (12th July 2016), Gardaí arrested three men; all understood to be aged in their mid to late 30’s. The men were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation; targeting rural theft in the counties; Tipperary, Laois, Offaly, Carlow and Kilkenny.
Shortly after midnight and early this morning, a vehicle (4×4), believed to have been stolen in Co. Laois back in late June 2016, failed to stop for Gardaí at a road checkpoint set up in the vicinity of Cloncourse, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. The stolen vehicle rammed a marked Garda car, while also colliding with a second Garda vehicle. The occupants, three men, then fled from the 4×4 vehicle into nearby farm land. A Garda Air Support Unit and Gardaí on the ground immediately searched the area, later arrested all three suspects.
Those arrested were taken to Garda Stations at Portlaoise and Tullamore; detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
The scene was immediately preserved for a full technical examination. However four Gardaí are understood to have received non-life threatening injuries as a result of this incident; necessitating them to attend at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise. No other injuries have as yet have been reported.
It is understood that a number of vehicles, trailers and other farm equipment have now been recovered during a planned follow up search connected with this morning’s operation. Same was facilitated by members from Garda Divisions in Tipperary, Laois/Offaly, and Carlow/Kildare who were assisted by units representing Regional and Garda Air Support.
The Garda press office have stated that all Gardaí are committed to remaining focused when dealing with travelling criminal gangs; while also working closely with agricultural representative organisations, e.g. IFA, ICMSA, to further raise awareness within the farming community in dealing with rural crime.