Thursday 23 March 2017

Armed gang hold bank worker's wife hostage

An armed gang got away with hundreds of thousands of euros in cash today after taking a bank worker's wife hostage in a tiger kidnap.

The three man gang took the woman from her home in Templeogue, west Dublin at gunpoint in the early hours of this morning.

Gardai said one of the gang carried a firearm and the woman's husband, an AIB employee, was ordered to carry out the theft.

It is believed about 300,000 euro was stolen.

The money was taken from the AIB Clondalkin village and a drop-off arranged before the man`s wife was freed hours later near a quarry in rural Wicklow.

She had been released by the gang at about 12.45pm and sought help from a local resident in Ballybrew, Enniskerry.

The woman was driven from her home in a black 10-D registration Volkswagen Golf which detectives believe may have travelled on roads and motorways near both the Templeogue and Enniskerry areas throughout the morning.

It is understood the money was taken to a drop-off point in Clondalkin and that the gang may have been in the Corkagh Park area amid fears they were under surveillance.

Detectives were investigating whether the gang used a second car, a black Nissan Qashqai with a 08-D registration which may have been seen between between Templeogue, Corkagh Park and AIB Clondalkin from 7am.

Gardai said they were examining four scenes linked to the robbery and appealed for information about suspicious activity at the couple's home on Domville Drive, Templeogue from 10pm last night or over the last few days.

The also asked for witnesses from the AIB in Clondalkin village in the morning from 8am, the quarry in Ballybrew and unusual or suspicious activity at or around Corkagh Park in the Clondalkin area.

Detectives were alerted to the kidnap and theft this the morning. Under protocols agreed between banks, unions and the Garda, employees are obliged to contact the force in the event of a tiger-kidnap and before following the gang's orders to hand over money.

A Garda spokesman said a comprehensive response team was put in place involving both local and national units to intercept the tiger-kidnap.

There have been four similar robberies this year.

In June a bank clerk was forced to take 200,000 euro from a Dublin branch of AIB after his friend was taken hostage from their home in Kiltipper.

In the previous month, a bank employee's partner was taken from her Ballyfermot home while a gang ordered the employee to work at the Ulster Bank on Sundrive Road to carry out the theft.

In April two men abducted a bank official's wife and attempted to rob a Bank of Ireland in Raheny. No money was stolen.

And in early January a security guard and two members of his family were taken hostage in an incident which led to the theft of more than 100,000 euro.

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