Irish sheriffs are roaming the country seizing assets of failed businessmen  according to a report published by Bloomberg News.

The local sheriffs in Ireland have no role in policing but rather are responsible for collecting assets from defaulted creditors.

They’ve been kept busier than ever before with Ireland mired in debt and more people defaulting on loans than at almost any other time in Ireland’s economic history.

The role of the sheriffs in Ireland is officially to execute court judgements against borrowers who have failed to pay back what they owe.

“When money was really tight, they literally used to take blankets off beds,” according to a Dublin businessman who advises businesses on how to deal with bloodthirsty sheriffs, “They don’t do that anymore. They’re looking for high value,” he said.

Ricky Wilson at Wilsons Auctions in the west of the Irish capital is selling a $50,000 Ducati 996 motorbike which was seized by a sherrif; a telling sign of the times.

Sheriffs earn they way be getting a commission known as “poundage” on the goods they take, taking 5 percent on the first €5,500 seized, or and then a further 2.5 percent on any additional balance. In the aftermath of a recession, it’s a lucrative businesses to be in.

“They love motor vehicles because they can be driven away,” said Stafford, who published a leaflet entitled Keeping the Sheriff at Bay. “They don’t like dealing with cattle.”

John Fitzpatrick, a Dublin-based sheriff, told the American publication how “One home I visited was palatial, an absolute palace. The guy was reduced to bankruptcy. He was emotional. I don’t think he had anything left.”