Community activists foil audacious car theft bid

February 16, 2010

by Brónagh Murphy

The swift actions of members from Crossmaglen Safety Group foiled an audacious car theft attempt at the weekend.

The vehicles, a Jeep and a car, were abandoned in the carpark at Crossmaglen Health Centre on Friday night, having been stolen from football grounds near Ardee earlier in the evening.

During a players’ training session, thieves had broken into the clubrooms and car keys along with cash and other personal belongings were stolen.

On discovery of the thefts, the Community Safety Group in Crossmaglen was alerted.  Just hours later, the two vehicles were discovered abandoned in the carpark of the town’s Health Centre.  It’s believed the thieves had dumped the vehicles there with the intention of collecting them again sometime later.

Police were called to the scene and the vehicles were taken away for forensic examination.

Chairperson of Crossmaglen Safety Group, PJ Toal, was at the scene when the vehicles were recovered.

“The Safety Group received a phone call with information about the robbery of these vehicles.  We are delighted that these thieves were denied the chance to bring their plan to fruition and that these cars can now be returned to their rightful owners.  This incident shows the value of the Safety Group to the community and how we can all work together to make it difficult for criminals to get away with things like this,” he said.

Sinn Féin Councillor, Terry Hearty, also attended the scene.  He congratulated the Safety Group and encouraged people to be vigilant for unusual vehicles in the area.

“This is unfortunately not the first time that a football club has been targeted in this manner and I wouldn’t say it will be the last time either, so people really need to keep their wits about them and ensure that premises containing valuable items are securely locked,” he said.

Police confirmed that two vehicles were recovered from the area of Crossmaglen Health Centre and were removed around 11.00pm for further examination.