We chat to 5 Dublin businesses targeted by the recent string of break-ins

By Katy Thornton

February 17, 2022 at 12:11pm

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"It feels like you're on a list"

In the last few weeks there has been an unusual amount of anti-social behaviour in Dublin. Every other day a business reveals they've suffered a break-in, or theft. We spoke to some of the businesses affected by this latest wave in anti-social behaviour, to get insight into the nature of the break-ins and to hear how they're feeling about it all. We also contacted the Gardaí to see if there had been any updates on their investigations.

Brother Hubbard, Capel Street

In 10 years, Brother Hubbard on Capel Street had never suffered a break-in, until Sunday. The Garda report confirms the incident took place around 5:46am on Sunday morning, 13th February. The burglary caused up to "€5,000 in damage" with windows and till systems broken. Garrett Fitzgerald of Brother Hubbard told us that the whole ordeal was "distressing" and makes the team feel incredibly "vulnerable" in the space.

The Garda investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.

Brother Hubbard Capel Street - Image via Instagram/brotherhubbardcafes

Póg, Bachelors Walk

The Bachelors Walk location was broken into on Friday morning, 11th February. I spoke to Duncan MacDonald about the incident, and he said in seven years, "this is the first time we've been the victim of such a targeted attack." He went on to say the Póg staff have unfortunately grown used to consistent levels of anti-social behaviour and intimidation in recent years.

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"The shocking thing though wasn't arriving to work to find the windows smashed, the till ripped open and the place turned upside down. It was our lack of surprise, as it's only what we've come to expect."

Gardaí confirmed that while they are investigating this incident, "No arrests have been made at this time."

Póg Bachelors Walk damage - Image via Instagram/pog_dublin

Aventura, Portmarnock

In mid January, Aventura by Portmarnock DART station was broken into and their prized coffee machine was stolen. Owners Mercedes and Orlando worked with the guards to gain insight into the theft and confirmed for us that there had in fact been a blackmail attempt made too. Orlando told me that all he and other business owners want to do is "cheer somebody up" with their coffee, and so the theft and subsequent blackmail attempt was difficult to swallow.

Of the break-in, Mercedes said this: "It is one tough challenge as a business owner but it goes more than just that, it completely affects the whole team and community and creates a sense of vulnerability and fear and not in the positive way."

Gardaí confirmed "No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing."

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Aventura damage - Image via Instagram/aventuracafe.ie

Gerard's Deli, Sir Rogerson's Quay

Since December, Gerard's Deli's two locations have suffered three break-ins. Owner Brian Nolan told us on all these occasions nothing was stolen, but what concerns him is rather "the hassle of the cleanup, cost of repairs and the fear among some of our staff". Damage done to the doors at their Sir Rogerson's Quay location in December cost just under €10,000 to repair. Another night the Leeson Street branch suffered a break-in, and while the robbers were detained, five premises were broken into within a 1km radius.

What struck us most was what Brian said of his staff's fears: "After the last robbery a female staff member came to me to say she no longer feels safe closing our Leeson st premises on her own at 5pm. 5pm on Leeson Street, surely she should feel safe in this location at this time".

1903 Horsebox, Malahide

1903 Horsebox suffered a break-in sometime on Friday 11th February. The Broomfield coffee truck only opens on Saturdays and Sundays, so they only discovered the break-in on Saturday morning. The truck was born during the pandemic, in the wake of mass unemployment; one of the owners Michael McCarthy told me that they're hoping to start opening seven days a week soon.

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Of the incident Michael confirmed that while nothing was taken, the break-in is "worrying". They were still able to trade over the weekend, but significant damage was done to the truck, with considerable fears that those who broke in may return.

1903 Horsebox damage - Image via Instagram/1903_horsebox

 

The general consensus amongst these businesses is that they worry that the perpetrators will return; one business owner said it feels like "you're on a list" and that whoever is behind these break-ins has a certain "confidence". This sentiment was then echoed by the other business owners. Each of the premises spoken to said they have had to up their security in light of these break-ins; they also hope that by speaking up, they can raise awareness on this unsavoury Dublin trend.

Lovin has also contacted the Gardaí to see if there have been any further updates on their investigations.

Header image via Instagram/pog_dublin and 1903_horsebox

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