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A car being burnt out in a field in Cork city.
A car being burnt out in a field in Cork city.
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Garda operation targets joyriding across the city

VIDEO footage and phones are key elements being used by gardaí in an operation targeting a group of joyriders in Cork city.

Operation Joyride has been running in recent months to target the theft of up to 450 vehicles across the city for use by joyriders.

Footage from incidents has been uploaded to Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms by a group of joyriders.

The footage shows cars being driven through fields and doing handbrake turns at junctions in city suburbs in broad daylight — as well as the cars and motorbikes used in the stunts being set alight afterwards.

Footage of a motorbike being driven recklessly in Cork by joyriders.
Footage of a motorbike being driven recklessly in Cork by joyriders.
The videos show bystanders watching and recording footage on phones.

It is believed that a core group of up to ten people have been involved in the incidents – many of whom are underage.

Gardaí are keen to prevent other young people being persuaded to join in the activity.

The spokesman said there have been incidents in recent weeks but officers believe the craze is now dying down, partly because of recent arrests.

But he said gardaí are still being vigilant and are monitoring the situation.

He added that there has been a lot of coordination on Operation Joyride between garda in Gurranabraher, Togher and support services in Anglesea Street. The operation has been focused on incidents last year and up to recent weeks.

A number of phones have been seized as part of the operation and have been examined with a view to establishing if they were used for recording joyriding incidents and for uploading material to the internet.

In August, the Evening Echo revealed that several motorbikes had been stolen across the city, as well as in suburbs including Blarney and Glanmire.

A video still of a car being driven through a field in Cork by joyriders.
A video still of a car being driven through a field in Cork by joyriders.
Some of the motorbikes were sporting bikes, meaning that they could be used for off-road action.

At that point, gardaí were confident the vehicles were not being stolen for financial gain and were instead being used for joyriding, as some had been discovered burnt out.

In one incident, a high-end car taken during a burglary in Blarney was found crashed and burnt out a short distance away from where it was stolen.

In another case in Glanmire, a 07 Opel Corsa was one of seven cars targeted by thieves in residential estates in the area.

Small items were taken from the other six.

However, the keys of the Opel Corsa were on the floor of the car and the raiders stole it.

It was recovered shortly afterwards in the Tower area. In each of the seven cases, the cars were unlocked.