A pub has captured CCTV footage of thieves stealing seven kegs of beer only minutes after they were delivered while the owners were organising a family funeral.
The theft of the beer comes just a few weeks after the Kilberry Pub and Kitchen outside Navan fully reopened when restrictions were lifted.
It is believed that it is the third premises in the area that has been targeted for kegs in the last few weeks.
The seven kegs – two Smithwicks and five Carlsberg – are valued in the region of €1,300.
Manager of the pub Grainne Smyth has issued an alert to other publicans in the area and appealed for help in tracking the van which robbed the kegs.
“The pub had been closed for a few years and renovations were almost finished when lockdown hit so we couldn’t open,” she said.
“We opened for a while last year, closed for the Christmas and then opened the restaurant in January so we were really only getting going for the first time after the restrictions were lifted.
“And only weeks later, we are robbed.
“The kegs were delivered on Wednesday morning at 11am and 11 minutes later they were gone, according to the time on our CCTV footage.
“Maybe they were watching the delivery van, I don’t know. They came and went in the direction of Slane. There were two occupants, all wearing face coverings and gloves and driving a navy blue transit van with partial registration of 07 MN.
“I’m usually on the premises but was away paying my respects to the owner whose family member had passed away, so there were fewer staff here than usual. But thankfully no-one was hurt in this robbery.
“This week’s order was small as well because we were only really opened and normally there’d be a big order of Guinness on top, but seven kegs is a huge loss to a business only getting back on its feet after lockdown.
“I believe two other businesses in the area were hit as well in the last few weeks so I’d urge all publicans to be mindful of stock and also if anyone noticed anything unusual or might have dash cam coverage of the van around the pub to contact Navan gardaí or any Garda station.”
It only takes minutes for someone to throw unsecured kegs into the back of the van
Meath Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Dean Kerins said: “Unfortunately, the criminals have had a lean few years and now pubs and everywhere are back open, crime is only going to increase as there are more and more people about.
“Mostly, the thefts of kegs are opportunistic as it only takes minutes for someone to throw unsecured kegs into the back of the van but in some cases, there are thieves who do watch for deliveries or get to know delivery times.
“Pubs are only getting back into regular routines and many are under pressure for staff but I would urge all pubs and venues to make sure kegs and all alcohol are taken into secure storage on delivery.
“If anyone has any information on this incident, please contact gardaí at Navan on 046 903 6100 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”