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Gardai urge shoppers to beware of car park thefts this Christmas

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TODAY’S the day when shoppers swing into action to cross off essential items on that festive list, with December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, having long become a traditional shopping day in Ireland. And Gardaí in Kerry are taking the opportunity to warn shoppers to be vigilant of car park theft in retail car parks today and this month.

Issuing the warning for “Retail Safety Day” today, they report new figures which show 50 car park thefts taking place each month.

The figures, compiled by the Garda Analysis Service to launch Retail Safety Day, show some €400,000 worth of goods was stolen from Irish shoppers’ cars last year.
Incidents are most common on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12 noon and 6pm, with incidents rising in December. The average value taken per theft was €600, while the most commonly taken items are cash, electronics, tools and handbags.

Launched to coincide with the start of the busy festive shopping period, Retail Safety Day urges members of the public to engage in safe shopping and parking in order to avoid becoming a victim of crime, whilst also improving their personal security.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Bureau of Community Engagement stated: “Customers should be wary while shopping. Always park in well-lit and secure areas. When you leave your car, lock all doors and windows and double check to make sure. Don’t leave property or cash on view, take it with you. Report all thefts and suspicious activities to staff or Gardaí.

“We strongly encourage shoppers to engage in safe parking as over 50 incidents of theft from vehicles at retail car parks occur every month. With an average loss of €600 per incident, many of these thefts are avoidable. Following some of these simple steps will make sure your Christmas doesn’t get spoiled by theft,” said Sergeant Courtney.

“There are also over 100 thefts from customers in shops every month. Handbags are being targeted when left in trolleys or hanging on buggies. The handbag itself isn’t always the item that is taken, sometimes objects within the handbag are targeted too and often they are not immediately noticed missing by the owner. Mobile phones are the most commonly stolen object.”

Retail Safety Day also aims to raise awareness amongst retailers on ways to prevent business losses from criminal activity. Shoplifting adds 3% to the price of products.

The Garda Analysis Service also said that shoplifting at Christmas time last year cost retailers €55 million, while the overall loss in 2015 was €255 million. However, thefts from shops have decreased by 2.7% this year so far, according to the CSO.

The busiest time for thefts from shops are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with almost two thirds occurring between 12pm and 6pm.

Sergeant Courtney added: “It’s important for retailers to be reminded that thefts from shops tend to increase from mid November until Christmas.

“The four main items stolen from retailers are groceries, alcohol, clothing and cosmetics. It is noticeable that thefts from clothes stores increase sharply just before Christmas and we also see a considerable increase of thefts from pharmacies, largely involving cosmetic thefts, throughout November and December.

“Retailers should make it difficult for thieves by improving security around the peak times of these thefts. Two thirds of all theft from shops happens between 12pm and 6pm, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday seeing the most thefts. Employing more staff at these times, training staff on retail security, displaying high value products away from entrance doors or behind security cabinets, installing and maintaining CCTV systems and ensuring cameras are not blocked by sale signs are just some of the ways retailers can improve their security.”

Local Garda clinics will be held throughout the country on December advising the public on their personal safety at this festive time. Meanwhile, An Garda Síochána produced safety information packs for both customers and retailers, both of which are available to download from the Garda website.

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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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Investigation continues into New St fire

  Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week. The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7). It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting […]

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Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week.

The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7).

It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting and ducting on the first, second and third floors. There was heavy smoke throughout the hotel but all guests were evacuated safely.

The landmark hotel, which also houses the famous Danny Mann pub, has not yet reopened, and local Gardai are still investigating its cause.

“The investigation is ongoing,” a Killarney Gardai Station spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser. “We are establishing the full facts in relation to the fire.”

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