A number of cars and €80,000 worth of cannabis have been seized as part of an anti-burglary operation across three counties.

The cars were found during searches yesterday and last night in Wexford, Meath, and Wicklow.

The searches were carried out under Operation Thor, set up to target criminal gangs involved in burglaries.

Gardaí say the investigation targeted an organised crime gang that was operating a distribution network for stolen car parts.

A man in his 50s was arrested after car parts were found after the search of a car on the N11 in Wexford yesterday afternoon.

He is being held at Tallaght Garda Station in Dublin and can be questioned for up to 24 hours.

Gardaí later found an Audi A4, an Audi A3 and a Volkswagen Golf in a premises in Summerhill, Co Meath.

The Volkswagen was partially dismantled.

4kg of cannabis worth around €80,000 was also recovered.

A number of other properties were searched and three cars, an Audi A5, an Audi A1 and a Hyundai Tucson were recovered.

All are believed to have been stolen in earlier residential burglaries.

Officers have described the operation as significant and say it is continuing.

Separately, a 27-year-old man was arrested in Limerick yesterday evening after he was found to be driving a 141-registration BMW vehicle which was one of two vehicles stolen overnight in Castletroy.

The other vehicle, a 141-registration Volkswagen, was recovered in a follow-up search.

A Nissan Qashqai with a 141-registration, which was stolen in a separate burglary on the southside of Limerick was also recovered by gardaí, as well as two laptops.

Five men aged between 17 and 20 years old have since been arrested in connection with the investigation.