Originally published in Volume V, Issue 4 on 10 November by Observer Reporter.
Five thousand pounds worth of stock was stolen from Merville Residence Shop last weekend when burglars smashed in the rear window and removed Phone cards, electricity cards, batteries and CDs. The incident is the third attack on that premises in 12 months. The break-in is believed to have occurred at 4am on Sunday morning although Gardai say that no time had been specifically established.
Students living in the apartment above the premises were questioned by detectives from Donnybrook Station following the incident but said they could hear no sound above the storm. Detective Garda Larry Kirwan stated that there were no suspects at present for either the previous attacks or last weekend’s, saying it was “early days yet.”
The raiders also smashed the cigarette machine and ransacked the Manager’s office, although Barbara Bond, owner of the business, commented “they obviously knew the lay-out of the place, where the cards were kept and so on. They may have been looking for more cash in my office, as there was only a small amount in the till.”
Asked if she thought it may have been students, she replied “I hope not – we have a good relationship with the students. I’d never feel it could be. Although you just can’t know with new people in every year. It was professional enough – they knew what they wanted.”
Ms. Bond discovered the break-in at 9.30am on Sunday morning and though both were called, the Gardai arrived within an hour but UCD Security never attended the scene. She remarked that the stock stolen could have carried out in three or four sports bags, although Gardai have said that a car could have been used in the raid. Ms. Bond said that due to the fact that the shop is only on an annual lease, investing money in an alarm is too great an expense.
The shop lost approximately £1000 between the two hold-ups of last year, both of which threatened students working there during quiet periods in the day. On both occasions the cash till was almost completely emptied. The students threatened in both attacks are still working there as there is seldom a change around in staff.
There was a request made of the college to provide an alarm but no response was made. There is a presumption, according to Student Residence Administrator Tony Nichol, that lessees of the shops would protect their own business. He said, “there are no other problems like this in the residences & the incidents are not regular. There will be no investigation by the college – there is no need for there to be when the police are involved.”
But Barbara Bind said: “My main concern is protecting ourselves, but it could also happen to students that they would be broken into during the night and the consequences could be far more serious. The would worry me a lot.”