Terrifying tactic was first used by IRA paramilitaries
Published 04/12/2015 | 02:30
Tiger kidnaps are so-called after the tactic of stalking potential victims and then using hostages to force business people or bank managers to hand over cash.
The terrifying tactic was first used by the Provisional IRA and other paramilitaries during the Troubles.
The Northern Ireland Bank robbery by members of the IRA, in which two bank workers and their families held hostage, netted a staggering £26m in 2004.
Northside Dublin criminal Derek Murphy was the first ordinary criminal to use the technique in a bid to rob a restaurant in 2000.
Murphy told his accomplice: "If he tries anything funny, shoot him in the leg." He was convicted after DNA found on a cigarette butt linked him to the scene.
Despite the risks tiger-robberies can yield big results for criminals compared to straight-forward armed hold-ups.
Two days before Christmas in 2008 a businessman from Co Kildare was the target of a tiger kidnap.
The security company director was forced to take €1.2m from secure storage and hand it to the gang holding his wife and daughter.
In 2005 another well-orchestrated tiger robbery netted €2.28m for an armed gang in which a family were held hostage.
And in February 2009 a Bank of Ireland official was forced to hand over €7.7m while his girlfriend was held at gunpoint.
The spate of such tiger robberies between 2005 and 2010 sparked calls for tighter protocols to stop criminal gangs using the tactic
Last year armed gardaí foiled a tiger kidnap gang who had targeted three women in a bid to rob a post office outlet at Sutton, north Dublin, thanks to safety protocols.
Shots were fired by officers during a dramatic car chase as a member of the gang was arrested in Malahide.
More than a dozen garda vehicles were involved in the operation. They were backed up by the helicopter unit and all the stolen cash was recovered.