Farmers and rural dwellers urged to be vigilant following a spate of burglaries

A warning has been issued to farmers and rural dwellers to be vigilant and to try and secure properties as best possible, following burglaries on Limerick farms.

Limerick chair of Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), Tom Blackburn, issued the warning after his own farm was targeted and claims there’s been an increase in crime in the county since the turn of the year.

“Farmers and people living in rural Ireland are vulnerable. It looks like they are targeting farmers. Our house was broken into. It is not a nice experience. There wasn’t a pile taken but it is the invasion of your privacy,” said Mr Blackburn, who, speaking to the Limerick Leader, described the perpetrators as “professionals”.

“There wasn’t a fingerprint found by gardai. They forced the bottom of the front window and closed it after them. There wasn’t a mark after it. It wasn’t the first time they had done it. No drawers were left open, they closed the presses after them when they took the stuff . They found the keys of the front door, opened it and closed it after them,” said Mr Blackburn.

“They knew exactly what they wanted because they took crystal bowls and left glasses. They were looking for valuables, they took some wedding presents. There was a blanket on the chair, they rolled them up in it and gone,” he added.

This warning comes on the back of PSNI figures released last week, showing that almost 11 crimes relating to agriculture were reported each week to police in the North last year.

A marginal increase, incidents of burglary, robbery and theft for agricultural-based activity in NI increased marginally from 553 cases in 2015 to 560 last year.

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