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25 September 2023

On this month’s Crimecall, Crime Prevention segment, Sergeant John Fitzpatrick provided information in relation to burglary advice, ‘Operation Thor’ and the anti-burglary awareness campaign ‘Lock Up Light Up’. 

Since 2015, Operation Thor actively targets organised crime groups and repeat offenders through coordinated crime prevention and enforcement activity based on intelligence and the latest burglary trends. 

The Winter Phase of Operation Thor launched in October 2023, with Garda divisions increasing checkpoints / patrols in burglary hot-spots and promoting awareness around property safety through Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert. 

Between January and August 2023 (5,739) incidents of Burglary, were reported. This compares to (6,150) incidents in the same period last year, a decrease of 7%.

Compared to the summer, figures during winter months indicate that that there can be a surge in burglaries, particularly during the hours of 5 to 9pm.

While burglary levels are still significantly lower than pre-pandemic times, there were (3,735) incidents reported since April 2023.The monthly average for this period was (747) incidents per month, a decrease of 3.7% on the same period in 2022 and a 2.5% reduction compared to 2022/2023 winter phase (October – March).

A reason for this rate potentially remaining low compared to pre-pandemic times is possibly due to people still working for home meaning fewer houses are vacant.

‘Lock Up Light Up’ is An Garda Síochána's anti-burglary awareness campaign which encourages homeowners to protect their homes over the winter months. Winter burglaries can regularly involve a premises that was unsecured. There is also an increase in the use of entrances at the rear of the residence during winter months, possibly due to being able to operate more easily in the cover of darkness. 

Simple steps can help protect your home, so whether you are at home or going out remember:

  • Turn on some lights, LED bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.
  • Use timer switches / motion detectors / smart lights (turn on lights via phone or timer settings)
  • Use motion detector / sensor lights outside, make sure the lights emanating from them covers the door and not just the area near the door.
  • Lock all doors and windows as part of your regular routine.
  • Use an alarm – get it serviced and ensure battery pack is working.
  • Store keys away from windows and doors.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.

By taking these simple steps it should reduce the likelihood of a burglary occurring as it will “target harden” you home, deter burglars and protect homes.

Analysis shows that a large number of all burglaries are through the front doors - with most burglars using their own body to gain entry. Other key findings include:

  • Burglars can commonly target back doors, back windows and front windows, with numerous cases involving a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window. 
  • Jewellery and cash remain a commonly stolen object.
  • Computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are common amongst items stolen. 
  • A large number of burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm.
  • The practice of ‘fishing’, where car keys are fished through a letterbox by burglars is also a problem.



Gardaí at Kilkenny are investigating an attempted burglary that occurred in Hawthorn Walk, Pairc Na Gowan in the City on the 22nd of June 2023.

On the date in question the victim was at home when they heard someone ringing their doorbell and knocking on their door. On their way to the door the victim noticed the lock was being forced open. The victim interrupted the suspect before he had a chance to enter the house who then quickly left.

Suspect description:

  • Age in his 40’s
  • Stocky build 
  • Round face with stubble
  • Stripy tattoo on his right arm 
  • Wearing a short sleeved, button up, light blue shirt

Gardaí at Kilkenny Garda Station, investigating. Tel: (056) 777 5000


This month on Crimecall, a man recounts how, while searching for a better life for himself and his family, he became a victim of human trafficking.  His story begins with him travelling from Vietnam to a shed in Ireland, where he was forced to grow Cannabis while living in inhumane conditions and with no means to contact anyone.

Detective Superintendent Derek Maguire from the Garda National Protective Services Bureau was in studio to discuss and offer advice in relation to human trafficking. 

Human Trafficking explained:

Human trafficking is a crime that trades in people and exploits them for financial gain.  Human Trafficking is an egregious abuse of a person’s basic Human Rights, and involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.

Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime. It is a nationwide issue, in every city, town and village in the country. It is often described as ‘hidden in plain sight’.

Three Pillars of Human Trafficking:

The three pillars of Human Trafficking are Mobilisation, Means & Exploitation of a victim.

Human Trafficking can often be confused with people smuggling. The difference being, people smuggling is people making an illegal entry into the country (they want to come here). Human Trafficking often involved people being forced, deceived, coerced or exploiting their vulnerabilities.

Labour exploitation is the abuse of people in the workplace for profit. Forcing them to render services to another.

Forced criminality involves exploiters forcing victims to commit criminal acts.

Sexual exploitation is the actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power or trust for sexual purposes.

Stories become weapons in the hands of human trafficker’s, good jobs and fair wages just over the horizon. Sometimes, the stories themselves raise red flags.

Human Trafficking is an underreported crime possibly due to the covert nature and peoples lack of awareness around the indicators; often the victims are too afraid to make a report or do not recognise themselves as a victim.

The Human Trafficking Investigation and Coordination unit (HTICU) operate within the Garda National Protective Services bureau as a specialist unit is dedicated to investigate allegations and supporting victims of human trafficking.

The HTICU provide advice, support and operational assistance to human trafficking investigations nationwide.

The HTICU proactively pursue a strategy that targets organised crime groups engaged in human trafficking.

Indicators of human trafficking include:

  • Poor Living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped spaces
  • People who seem scared, confused or have untreated injuries
  • One person speaking on behalf of many others, who may avoid eye contact or conversation
  • Lights on at workplaces at strange times – are people living there?
  • Employer holding identity documents

Garda Message:

  • To the public – to report signs or indicators of Human Trafficking
  • To employers – When you are employing workers especially through agents or intermediaries that you are satisfied that workers are not being exploited
  • To Victims – If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking, you need to consider if someone is controlling your Finances, Identity Documents and restricting your movements.

We have a dedicated website blueblindfold@garda.ie where members of the public can report human trafficking or learn more about it.

The Garda Confidential line 1800 666 111 is open 24 Hours.  In cases of emergency contact 999/112

Garda National Protective Services Bureau


The Gardaí at Anglesea Street are investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of 43 year-old John Keaveney. John who lives in the Drumcondra area of Dublin, was taking a holiday break at Castlemartyr, Co. Cork, with his wife Adrienne and three Daughters at the time of his disappearance.

On Friday August 18th John was admitted to Cork University Hospital, suffering from epilepsy. He subsequently discharged himself on Sunday August 20th and may have presented somewhat disorientated.

Crimecall interviewed John’s uncle Cathal who spoke emotionally about him and the upset felt by his wife Adrienne and family. Cathal thanked everyone for their continued support and assistance so far with the search effort to locate John.

Gardaí at Anglesea street have worked extensively with their colleagues throughout the city and have tracked John’s movements establishing the final confirmed sighting to be at the Marina filling station roundabout – Center park road - (1.19am ) .

Gardaí believe that John may have continued out the Center Parks Road in the direction of Pairc Ui Chaoimh / Marina markets Commercial park – (1.45 am). (CCTV at these location capture a person walking away from the City)


Extensive investigation across Cork City including both Land and Water searches concentrated at the Marina / Pairc Ui Chaoimh areas. Huge commitment involving John’s family /Mallow Search and Rescue / Cork Missing Persons Group/Garda Air Support and Water Unit.

Garda Appeal:

  • Did you see or speak to John in the Cork City area on Sunday August 20th into Monday 21st?
  • Do you know where John went after he is last seen heading in the direction of Pairc Ui Chaoimh /Marina area at 1.45am on the 21st?  
  • John’s photo and description may be of assistance to you?
  • Have you discovered clothing similar to those worn by John?
  • Have you found an IPhone SE (Black) similar to the one John owned?
  • Please report any piece of information that may progress the investigation.

Description of Missing person John Keaveney:

  • 43 years
  • Height 5 9”
  • Medium Build
  • Grey Hair – balding


  • Grey Umbro top with FAI logo
  • Blue jeans
  • White runners

Gardaí at Bridewell Garda Station (Cork) inv. Tel: (021)4943330

Road Deaths January to August

There have been 136 road deaths so far in 2023. This is an increase of 24 deaths on this time

Last year. Of the 136 road deaths, 35% of the deceased have been under 25 year old.

There has also been a 40% increase in pedestrians killed on our roads since last year and a staggering 88% increase in passengers killed.

Eight out of nine driver fatalities in the under 25 category, were male.   

Aggravating Factors in Fatal Collisions

Seatbelts: 30% of drivers/passenger fatalities this year were not wearing seat belts.

Results from a recent survey found that while 96% of drivers say they always wear a seat belt, this figure drops to 83% when people are travelling in the back seat of a car. Forgetting to put on seat belt is the main reason for not wearing it.

If you are over 17 you are legally responsible for wearing your seat belt in a vehicle whether you are a driver or a passenger. Responsibility lies with the driver to ensure that all passengers under the age of 17 wear a seat belt or have a proper child restraint.

DUI: Driving while intoxicated continues to be a problem on Irish roads. I would appeal to people to;

  •  Never, ever drink / drug drive
  •  Book a taxi or use public transport
  •  Nominate a ‘designated driver’
  •  Make sure you are alcohol free the next morning

A recent survey in Ireland showed that in the intervening years 2013-2017, 37% of fatalities, which had a toxicology result available, showed a positive result.


Speeding is the biggest contributing factor to road deaths in Ireland, it’s a factor in one third of all fatal collisions.

The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood of a collision happening. We are asking people to slow down and always drive within the speed limits.

Holding Mobile Phone:

Mobile phones are the number one distraction to drivers on Irish roads. Despite the fact that using mobile phones while driving is killing people on our roads, people continue to text, make phone calls, take selfies or update their social media pages while driving. Statistics show that making a call makes a driver four times more likely to be involved in a collision and texting makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision.


  • Evenings getting shorter
  • Winter weather approaching
  • Children back to school


We are appealing to drivers to take care on the roads.

  • Plan your journey.
  • Keep to the speed limit.
  • Do not get distracted by your phone or anything else.
  • Drive according to the road and weather conditions
  • Never drink/take drugs and drive
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users

Driving is the most dangerous thing a person will do on a weekly basis. It needs to be treated accordingly. (Figures correct on the date of publication)

Sergeant Gavin Coleman, DMR Roads Policing Division


Gardaí at Longford Town are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the male suspect depicted in the attached Evofit.

On the bank holiday Monday, the 7th of August 2023 at approximately 2.30am a female was walking in The Mall area of Longford Town when she was confronted by a male suspect.

During the encounter the female victim was punched several times and was seriously injured. Fortunately, the victim was able to flee from the male and ran towards the main exit of The Mall where she raised the alarm.

Suspect description

  • Early thirties,
  • Height - 5’6” / 5’7”
  • Broad / heavy build
  • Square face
  • Short dark hair and receding hairline
  • Clean shaven with dark sallow complexion

Gardaí at Longford Garda Station – Investigating- Tel:043-3350570

Detective Chief Superintendent Colm Noonan of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau was in studio to discuss the work of together the National Missing Persons Unit of which he has responsibility. Colm emphasised An Garda Síochána’s commitment to solving such long term cases, and explained how their work has been enhanced through recent investigative advances, resulting in the progression of cases and closure for some families.

Colm explained how when an exhumation takes place and a DNA profile is successfully taken the I-Familia Database becomes significant in:

  • Comparing to Irish Missing Person Cases.
  • Identifying unsolved cases which can benefit from sharing DNA to an international database.
  • Benefit people whose remains are believed to have entered the sea and have been washed out of Irish waters by tidal movements.

The Missing Persons Unit has developed excellent international co-operation with other jurisdictions through Europol and Interpol databases searches and issuing Maritime Alerts with neighbouring jurisdictions.  

The Missing Persons Unit is committed to using advancements in technology to solve these cases. While reviewing these cases, An Garda Síochána hope to bring closure to the families.  

The Missing Persons unit are actively working with each Garda District & Division to progress missing person’s investigations and need the help of the public in order to do so. All information is insignificant in a missing person’s investigation, and anyone with information should allow Garda analyse its value.  Please either contact your local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666 111.  Alternatively, you can contact the Missing Persons’ Unit on 01-6669476.

The missing person investigation remains open until the person is found – Gone but never forgotten.


Gardaí at Manorhamilton Garda Station, together with the National Missing Person’s Unit, are seeking the publics’ help in identifying the human remains of a male found at Knockbrack, Tullaghan, Co. Leitrim.

On 1st May 1986, two fishermen reported to Gardaí that they had found a body of a man along the seashore.  The body was of a male adult and was badly decomposed, therefore making identification impossible.  A post mortem was carried out at the time, and it was estimated that the man was in the water approximately (1) month.  Neither fingerprints nor dental records were obtainable. Despite circulation of details at the time, identification wasn’t established. 

An exhumation took place in January 2021 and a DNA profile was successfully taken.  The findings were that the deceased was a white male between 30-50 years old, between 5’4 and 5’7.  It is possible the male wore dentures as all his teeth had been removed. DNA was extracted and was suitable for comparison. However, despite being uploaded to the National DNA database, a match hasn’t been located. The DNA profile has been uploaded to all European databases, and will be regularly checked against all profiles.


  • - Blue Wrangler jeans
  • - Dark coloured leather belt, silver buckle with the words “Malt Liquer” and “Scultz” and a dog depicted on the buckle.
  • - Brown shoes rubber soles with leather uppers B.Jees make.


  • - Left forearm – word “Eire”
  • - Upper left arm – 2 crossed swords
  • - Right forearm – a dagger and scabbard
  • - Upper right arm – green shamrock

Gardaí in Manorhamilton Garda Station - Investigating. Tel: (071 -9820620)


Gardaí at Santry Garda Station are investigating the unlawful killing of Martin Lynn.  

On the night of the 29th July 2023 into the morning of the 30th July 2023, Martin had been with friends in Dublin City Centre socialising. He arrived home by taxi to Larkhill Road shortly before 4.30am on the 30th July 2023, accompanied by a friend.  As they alighted from the taxi a motorcyclist passed the taxi and pulled in approximately 10 metres ahead of it. The male rider dismounted and approached Martin and his friend as they crossed the road.

The male suspect briefly spoke to Martin before he (martin) subsequently received an injury to his head. The motorcyclist drove away from the scene and left Larkhill Road in the direction in which he had arrived.

Martin subsequently died from his injuries at Beaumont Hospital on 1st August 2023.

Garda Appeal:

  • An Garda Síochana wish to acknowledge the terrible loss suffered by the Lynn Family and friends on the tragic death of Martin.
  • Do you have any information about the male suspect or the incident?
  • While Gardaí believe they have identified the motorcycle involved, they are seeking further information in respect of the jacket and helmet worn by the motorcyclist.
  • Do you recognise the jacket worn by the suspect? The jacket has a distinctive ‘Fox Rage’ brand logo.
  • Do you recognise the helmet? The helmet is an “Arai” Tour X4 make, with the Arai logo on both sides.
  • Do you recognise these items or know who may own or have possession of them?
  • Where are they (clothes) now?

Gardaí in Ballymun Garda Station inv. -Tel: (01)666 4000