Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath, Robert Troy, has called on communities across the Midlands to be on the alert following a brazen robbery of an elderly couple in Ballynacargy.
The robbery saw two men impersonate plain-clothes gardaí as they pulled over the car the elderly couple were driving, which resulted in a sum of money being stolen. Deputy Troy commented: “This robbery should serve as a reminder for people to remain vigilant towards suspicious activity in our communities. Following consistent cutbacks by the Government to Garda resources in rural areas there is a greater need than ever for communities to be on the alert.
“The methods used by the robbers in this instance were deplorable. The two men intimidated an elderly couple into pulling over their car as they were driving on a quiet and isolated rural road. They then proceeded to impersonate plain-clothes gardaí as they questioned the couple on their driving. They snatched a wallet containing a considerable sum of money after they demanded to see identification.
“The robbers in this instance were cold and calculated with their actions. They acted in a calm manner and managed to convince the couple into opening their wallet for inspection. People need to be vigilant towards this type of robbery.”
The Gardaí have advised people that, should they suspect they are falling victim to an impersonation attack, they should contact their local Garda station before stopping their car in a deserted area. People also have the right to demand proper identification from gardaí should they suspect foul play is involved.
“Unfortunately the Government isn’t serious about tackling rural crime,” Troy said. “They have closed Garda stations, reduced Garda manpower, and withdrawn key resources from the force. It is not surprising that devious criminals are using these cutbacks to their advantage by targeting rural Ireland.
“I will be requesting a meeting with the local Garda Superintendent in the coming days to discuss how this sort of crime can be tackled, and what needs to be done at a community level to protect vulnerable people.”