Gardaí have released footage of a gang of five men checking the doors of vehicles parked outside homes at night.
Four of the men are walking checking vehicles while the fifth man drives a car alongside.
All of them have hoods over their heads and are wearing gloves.
Gardaí released the footage as part of an unrelated incident in Kinsale in Co Cork in which items were taken from 15 cars and a van was also stolen on Monday, April 6.
At around 4am, 15 cars were broken into and had items taken while parked outside homes in the neighbouring Eltins Wood and Compass Quay residential areas.
A white Renault van, partial reg 11-KY was also stolen.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the Eltins Wood or Compass Quay area of Kinsale, particularly road users with video footage, between 3.30am and 4.30am to please contact them.
Gardaí are also appealing for anyone who may have the stolen white Renault van in the area to contact Bandon Garda Station on 021-477 9250, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.
Speaking at Kinsale Garda Station, Crime Prevention Office Sgt James O Donovan said:
"Last year our Park Smart campaign highlighted that criminals are going through housing estates and trying to open car doors, hoping they get some that are unlocked. Unfortunately, a lot of the cars last night were left unlocked.
"However, it was good to see that most people had no items in their cars at all.
"Since 2016, €30 million worth of items were stolen from vehicles and outside our homes and in driveways are the most common places for it to happen.
"Because everyone is adhering to Government restrictions on staying indoors, our vehicles are going to all be parked up for the next couple of weeks so I would ask that nobody leave anything of value in them, no matter where it is parked, and make sure it is locked at all times.”
Park Smart appeal
Figures from the Garda Analysis Service show that from Jan 2016- Dec 2019, 46,582 vehicles were broken into. 8,157 of these, the vehicle was reported to have been unlocked.
Of the 12,343 vehicles broken into outside homes, 3,833 are reported to have been unlocked – that’s almost 1 in every 3.
The analysis also shows that the most common location for these thefts are in driveways, and that most common times are between 12midnight and 6am. Such thefts are happening throughout the country.
Gardaí are appealing for all vehicle owners to ensure they lock their vehicle no matter where it is parked. Do not store valuables in it, but if you do have to, keep them out of sight.