Wednesday 18 October 2017

Staff member had gun put to her head in terrifying armed raid of shop at UCD

The terrifying armed raid happened at the Centra shop on UCD campus
The terrifying armed raid happened at the Centra shop on UCD campus

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

A staff member working in a shop on the campus of Ireland’s biggest university had a gun put to her head during a terrifying armed raid.

The €1,000 robbery happened just after 10pm on Wednesday, when the Centra store at the UCD campus in Belfield was closing.

The employee was putting out bins at the time of the incident and the robbers gained access to the shop when they saw the back door was open.

It's understood she had a gun put to her head during the ordeal while other staff members were also threatened.

One of the raiders then produced cable ties and tied up the woman and a male colleague.

The robbers then fled in the direction of the Merville residents block on campus.

The two members of staff were not physically harmed but were left extremely traumatised.

The robber with the metal bar had a Dublin accent and had a balaclava or similar style of covering on his face. He was wearing a tracksuit.

University College Dublin
University College Dublin

The gunman had a small black firearm and was wearing a white and blue jacket and blue tracksuit bottoms.

He had blue eyes and is described as stocky.

Gardai believe the pair fled the area by car and are examining a getaway route.

Staff at the shop did not want to comment on the robbery when approached by the Herald yesterday.

There is a sophisticated network of CCTV cameras at the popular shop and gardai hope that the footage will help them to identify possible suspects.

CCTV from the wider campus and the surrounding suburbs may also reveal the route taken to and from the shop by the raiders.

It is believed the robbers got away with about €1,000.

The raid is being investigated by Donnybrook gardai and no arrests have yet been made.

One line of inquiry is that the raiders seemed to know staff movements and habits in advance, indicating a degree of planning, and struck at closing time, when takings would be at their highest.

Gardai have been investigating a number of separate crimes at the UCD campus in recent times.

Last November, it emerged that officers were investigating the alleged sexual assault of a student on campus.

UCD Students’ Union took to social media to remind students of its ‘walk safe’ service.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that were a total of 70 robberies last year in the south central garda division, which covers the UCD campus.

Donnybrook gardai are already investigating two armed raids at pubs which happened earlier this year and are not linked to Wednesday night’s robbery.

Herald

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