Gardai in Athlone are warning members of the public to be vigilant following a surge of car break-ins in Athlone and surrounding areas.
Over the past week, according to Sergeant John Lawless of Athlone Garda Station, an alarming number of cars have been broken into at several locations across Athlone, Ballinahown, Mount Temple, and Ballymore.
Articles such as handbags and cash were taken from a number of the cars, which were broken into when they were left unattended outside churches, shops, and other locations.
Car windows were broken and cars damaged as the perpetrators made off with the valuables.
The majority of the incidents which have been reported to Gardai occurred in rural areas within a 10-15 mile radius of Athlone.
Gardai are warning members of the public not to leave valuables on view, and to ensure they lock their car if leaving it unattended.
In a separate incident, a house in the Garrycastle area of Athlone was broken into on Wednesday night this week at approximately 10pm. A small amount of property was taken.
Gardai are keen to speak to any member of the public who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in any of these areas.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Athlone Garda Station at (090 ) 6492600.