A Dublin teenager has been bundled into a van and beaten so badly he suffered a broken leg. Gardai believe he was attacked after being linked to bike and car thefts.
Gardaí in Dublin are issuing a fresh warning to cyclists to securely lock their bikes at home as a wave of thefts have taken place across the city in recent months and one suspect badly beaten.
The teenager who was beaten was said to have been bundled into the back of a van by a group of men in a vigilante-style attack in south Dublin at the beginning of last month.
He sustained a broken leg during the beating, which gardai believe was meted out because those who attacked him believed he was part of a teenage gang stealing high end bikes and cars in the south west area of the capital.
The Irish Independent has reported details of the incident.
Its report said because the 16-year-old who suffered the broken leg has not made a formal statement to gardai, the investigation has proven very difficult.
Gardai in Crumlin are investigating a teenage gang they believe have been robbing cars and top end bikes for re-sale and those who attacked the 16-year-old did so in the belief he was one of the burglars.
One youth believed to be a member of the teenage burglary gang was arrested over the festive holiday period as gardai believe he was in the process of breaking into a house to take an expensive bike.
Bike theft has become a huge problem in the capital and very often the crimes are not solved and the bikes never found.
In many cases, stolen bikes are spray-painted and put on sale on second-hand websites, or are sold to unsuspecting customers who believe the vendor is the legitimate owner of the bike.
Gardai have also said in the past that because there is no register of bike serial numbers even when bikes are found it is often impossible to track down their owners.