Friday 26 December 2014

No-one will ever be prosecuted over €9,000 theft from garda station

By Ken Foy

Published 23/07/2014 | 09:59

Balbriggan garda station

No-one will ever face prosecution in relation to the theft of €9,000 from a garda station.

The money was recovered by officers from a post office robbery and later went missing.

The DPP has decided that there is not enough evidence to charge anyone in relation to the theft at Balbriggan Garda Station in north Dublin last year.

A garda who was arrested as part of the detailed probe has now been cleared and is expected to be back in work within the next six weeks.

The missing money was suspected to be part of a €26,000 haul taken from the post office at Lusk, Co Dublin, in January of last year.

The money went missing from an evidence bag while it was being held in a strongroom at the station.

The cash was initially checked and then photographed, fingerprinted and forensically examined before it was bagged and tagged as potential evidence. It was then placed in a safe in a strongroom at Balbriggan station.

The discrepancy in the amount of money in the safe was discovered in February when John Wilson, the owner of the Costcutter shop where the post office is located, called to the station to seek the return of the cash.

Officers found a small tear in the bag and when they checked the contents they discovered there was only €17,000 still held in the safe.

An investigation team interviewed all gardai who might have been in contact with the evidence bag.

They also reviewed the records kept to log the whereabouts of the cash as well as

the results of a forensic examination of the bag for fingerprints.

ARMED

Officers also established an audit trail to determine how and when the money was

taken.

During the armed raid, three men held up staff and customers at gunpoint before making off with the money.

A garda patrol blocked a car near the premises and recovered the cash.

In the meantime, three suspects were charged in connection with the robbery but when the Lusk post master went to collect the cash in mid-February last year at Balbriggan Station, gardai were greeted with an “an extremely disturbing surprise” and the cash was missing.

kfoy@herald.ie

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