Teen thugs brazenly post videos as they steal cars and terrorise community
Gardai are continuing to hunt the culprits after their patrol vehicle was rammed on Monday evening
- 06:00, 23 SEP 2022
- Updated09:21, 23 SEP 2022
Young thugs tear out an ignition system to hotwire a car before stealing it and rampaging across the capital in a video brazenly posted to social media.
The gang, aged from 12 to late teens and from the Ballyfermot area of Dublin, openly post videos of their exploits on social media. But their actions were thrown into the spotlight this week as joyriders ran amok in the Cherry Orchard area on Monday, ramming a Garda patrol vehicle with two female officers inside.
The gang’s brazen social media posts show them robbing multiple vehicles. In one picture, seven teenagers stand on top of a stolen car with their hands up in an act of bravado.
The mob targets cars imported from outside of the European market, usually from Asia. These vehicles are not fitted with immobilisers – an electronic security device which prevents a car from being started unless the correct key is used and stops it from being hotwired.
The gang’s footage shows how easy it is to access one of these vehicles. They can be seen using a spanner to pull out the ignition system of a Toyota, where a key would usually be inserted.
This allows them to hotwire the car. The images also show them joyriding in a stolen van and a Mitsubishi.
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Another clip has four youngsters standing beside four stolen vehicles. The gang are all teenagers and have terrorised the community in Cherry Orchard and the wider Ballyfermot for the past 12 months.
A source said: “They usually go out and about to spot the cars and come back in the evening to steal them. But at other times they just do it out in the open.
“The Asian imports are such easy targets with no immobiliser. They just pop out the ignition in a few minutes, hotwire it and they’re off.”
Gardai are continuing to hunt the culprits after their patrol vehicle was rammed on Monday evening. They believe the youths targeted the officers in “revenge” for recent arrests in an anti-social behaviour operation.
Yesterday morning, investigators heading the probe searched six houses. A number of phones were seized but the Irish Mirror understands gardai were obtaining images from them and the owners of the mobiles were not involved in driving the stolen cars.
Although officers have pinpointed suspects, they are hoping to track down footage to nail the thugs. A Garda spokesman said: “The searches this morning were focused on evidential gathering and a number of items including electronic devices were seized.
“No arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing.” The two officers who were in the patrol vehicle have been assessed by medics and are now off duty due to their injuries.
One said: “I’m alive, that’s the main thing. It was so daunting to see a mob baying for our car to be rammed.”
Det Gda Mark Ferris, the Garda Representative Association’s Dublin West rep, added: “Both gardai, having been medically assessed by their respective GPs, subsequently are now off duty on medical advice due to their injuries.
“In the aftermath of this appalling incident, both gardai told the GRA
that they were still trying to process the traumatic events.” Garda headquarters yesterday said the two members “did not report injuries at the time but have subsequently reported unfit for duty”.
A spokesman added: “Both members are receiving support from colleagues and local Garda management.” Gardai are continuing to appeal for information and witnesses to Monday’s ramming incident.
The public is asked to contact Ballyfermot Garda station on 01 666 7200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.