THE manager of a toy store has been kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to return to his premises to hand over the takings to a pair of raiders.
The gang made off with an estimated €10,000 after burning out two stolen cars.
The raiders, who were armed with a handgun, ambushed the manager of Smyths toy store at Fonthill retail park in Clondalkin, west Dublin.
The manager left the store around 10.20pm on Tuesday and drove towards his home at Oldbridge Glen in Lucan.
As he drove into his estate, one of the gang jumped out of a Ford Fiesta car, which had been parked nearby.
He dived into the manager's Nissan Qashqai, which had been brought to a halt, and was joined shortly afterwards by his accomplice.
In the meantime, the Fiesta, which had been hijacked and stolen in Clane, Co Kildare, on Sunday, was set alight in the estate.
The gunman threatened the manager to co-operate or his family would be harmed and ordered him to drive back to the store.
Some of the staff were still in the store as a result of late closing time but the raiders brought him through a rear door and into an office.
The thugs grabbed the cash, reckoned to be around €10,000 in takings from Christmas shoppers, and then made their getaway in the manager's car.
The car was later found burnt out at the Liffey Green estate in west Dublin and the raiders were believed to have switched to a third vehicle, which had been parked nearby by other gang members.
Staff at the store set off the alarm system when they realised the premises had been robbed and gardai were quickly on the scene. The manager was said to have been badly shocked and traumatised by the incident but was not physically hurt.
Gardai at Lucan are heading the hunt for the raiders and have appealed to anybody who noticed a group acting suspiciously around the Oldbridge Glen estate in Lucan or near Smyths at the Fonthill park between 9.30pm and 11pm on Tuesday to contact them at 01 6667300 or phone the confidential line, 1800 666111.