Ballina Gardaí are investigating break-ins at two mobile telephone retail shops in the town between two and half two yesterday morning.

A gang of three males arrived in a silver car and broke into Eir Retail, O'Rahilly Street, and the Three Shop, Tolan Street.

Midwest News understands they gained entry by using a sledgehammer and were wearing balaclavas.

The gang then left the Eir Retail premises in the silver car and drove against the flow of traffic on O’Rahilly Street towards Tolan Street, before breaking into the Three Shop.

However, the raid on the Three Shop was foiled as a result of a new anti-burglary system, Fog Bandit.

Within seconds of a break-in, the shop was filled with an impenetrable cloud of fog, forcing the intruders to leave the premises.

The gang returned to their vehicle and left the town along the river.

Ballina Gardai are seeking to establish what was stolen from Eir Retail shop, but it is understood no phones were taken from the Three Shop.

Gardai are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the break-ins between two and half two on Monday morning or who saw the car driving against the flow of traffic on O’Rahilly Street to contact them on 096 20560.

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