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Christmas Day crime spree in Westport

Christmas Day crime spree in Westport

Neill O’Neill

A MAN was being detained and questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act in Westport yesterday (St Stephen’s Day), following what Gardaí believed to be a number of linked incidents in the town centre in the late hours of Christmas Day/early hours of St Stephen’s morning.
Golden’s Pharmacy and the adjacent Gavin’s Cafe on Bridge Street were both broken into, while an attempt was also made to gain entry to the Xtra Vision store across the street. A car on Shop Street was also broken into at some stage on Christmas night and Gardaí are appealing for anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in Westport on Christmas Day or night to contact them.
The town would have been relatively deserted when the incidents took place and Gardaí were on the scene of the break-ins within a matter of minutes. The front window of Golden’s Pharmacy was broken but it was unclear at the time of going to print what if anything may have been taken. It is thought the perpetrator(s) were not seeking medication or prescription drugs in their attempt, and Gardaí believe it is cash they were after and acted very quickly to enter and leave the property.
A cash register was taken from Gavin’s Cafe after entry was gained to the premises by damaging a side door, but this and the float it contained were recovered by Gardaí who arrested the lone suspect near the vicinity of the double crime.

Home break-ins continuing
Meanwhile, there were three reported house burglaries last week, with cash taken in each one. The first occurred in the Killeenacoff area of Westport on Wednesday, December 19, when forced entry was gained to a private residence through a rear window and a small quantity of cash was taken, between 11am and 2pm.
The following day, on Thursday, December 20, between 4.30pm and 5.15pm, a similar incident occurred in Kilmeena, when entry was again gained to a house through a rear window and a small sum of cash was stolen.
On Saturday, another house was burgled, this time in Deerpark East on the Newport Road. This happened some time between 3.45pm and 6.20pm in a densely populated part of Westport. Again, a rear window was broken and a small quantity of cash taken.
Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to please contact Westport Garda Station on 098 25555.