Three held as gardai recover cash from van heist
GARDAI last night arrested two men and a woman as part of an investigation into a €40,000 armed hold-up in Dublin at the weekend.
The suspects were detained after a number of garda searches in which a gun, the cash box stolen in the raid, and about €38,000 in cash were recovered. A number of houses in the south Dublin area were searched.
The woman in her 20s and the men, in their 20s and 40s, were being questioned last night about the robbery from a cash-in-transit van in Walkinstown on Saturday. The move came hours after Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had signalled that a number of arrests were imminent.
The hold-up was one of seven armed robberies in Dublin over four days, including a bank raid in Clondalkin yesterday morning.
Commissioner Callinan said the assistant commissioner in charge of the national support unit, Derek Byrne, and the Organised Crime Unit had made significant strides with their inquiries and were satisfied there were no connections between any of the robberies.
Extensive searches have been carried out in the south inner city and south county.
Mr Callinan pointed out that a number of operations had already been in place before the latest wave of robberies and these included Fiacla, which was focusing on travelling gangs carrying out burglaries around the country over the past two years.
He said gardai knew the identities of those behind the burglaries and many of the prime suspects had already been arrested and brought before the courts.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter pointed out that there had been an 8pc drop in armed robberies in the past year, according to the latest independently published crime statistics.
He said that, based on the briefing he had received yesterday from the commissioner, he expected some developments shortly.
The minister denied suggestions that the recent spate of robberies had any connection to garda numbers. The force currently had a strength equal to that in 2007 and it was a question of smarter policing rather than the size of the force.
Mr Shatter said the commissioner and his force had to be complimented for the results they had been producing.