It’s the busiest St Patrick’s weekend in years.
And as crowds of happy revellers throng the streets for parades and parties across the country, the Gardaí are warning that thieves are ready and waiting to strike when you least expect it.
“An Garda Síochána are urging members of the public to exercise caution when socialising over the St. Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend.” said a Garda spokesperson.
“Particular care should be taken with personal items particularly mobile phones.”
The Garda spokesperson said that in a number of recent detections and prosecutions following incidents of theft, the phones were recovered wrapped in tin foil to prevent tracking.
“As St. Patrick’s Day celebrations resume after two years of cancelled events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gardaí are aware of the high volume of people expected to join the festivities.
“Younger people in particular are urged to exercise caution while celebrating this weekend and to take measures to ensure personal safety.”
The following practical measures can help in preventing and reducing mobile phone theft:
• Register your mobile phone with your service provider.
• Take careful note of your unique 15 digit mobile phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. By pressing *#06# on your phone keypad the IMEI will appear on the screen.
• Enable the PIN Security feature and keep your phone locked at all times.
• When out and about, keep your mobile phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings.
• If you are making or receiving a phone call in public, do so with your back to a wall and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind.
• Never leave your mobile phone behind in an unattended vehicle.
• If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile phone service provider immediately to suspend your service and prevent unauthorised calls being made and billed to you. Your provider will block your SIM card and IMEI number to prevent your phone from being used on the mobile network.
• Report the loss or theft to An Garda Síochána, providing identification numbers for your SIM card and IMEI number. This information may assist in the recovery of your mobile phone.