Friday 30 September 2016

Garda's miracle escape after burglars drove car at him

Ken Foy

Published 25/04/2016 | 11:59

A garda checkpoint. File picture
A garda checkpoint. File picture

A garda had a miracle escape when thugs linked to one of the country's most prolific burglary gangs drove their car at him when he was investigating a €700 shoplifting incident.

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A major manhunt is continuing for the three-person gang from north Dublin, who have been identified by officers.

The shocking incident happened outside a Heatons store in Wicklow town last Wednesday afternoon.

The male garda and a female sergeant were called to the shop to investigate an alleged theft of over €700 worth of clothing.

The two officers were dealing with the suspects, who were in a VW Passat car, when they noticed a large amount of clothes with security tags attached.

The criminals then became aggressive and attacked the gardai.

In the ensuing mayhem, the criminals drove off and the male garda suffered leg injuries when the car was driven at him and he was struck by the open door.

The gang sped off in the direction of Rathnew, Co Wicklow.

Gardai said that some of the stolen items were recovered.

"It is a miracle that the garda did not suffer more serious injuries.

"This was a terrifying incident that shows the complete malice of the criminals involved in it," a source said last night.

The three Dublin people - two men aged 56 and 20 and a 41-year-old woman - are members of a burglary gang suspected of being behind over 60 burglaries across Leinster, Connacht and Ulster since February.

The 56-year-old man, who is considered the ringleader of the mob, was only released from prison in the North before the burglary spree began.

Prolific

"This gang are one of the most prolific operating in the country at the moment," a senior source said.

"They use false number plates on cars and have been staying in halting sites across the country, which has made it difficult to find them."

However, the gang's main base is the Ballymun area of the capital's north side.

The 56-year-old leader was the victim of a gun attack in 1999 and also escaped from an English prison over two decades ago.

He was shot in the stomach with a shotgun in north Dublin after he left a pub.

Shortly after being released from hospital, he was involved in a 120mph chase with gardai who were pursuing him for a burglary in Dublin.

All three suspects being hunted by gardai have multiple previous convictions.

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