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Sunday 30 April 2017

'Two raiders are still on the loose' - Garda appeal after staff member kidnapped and held hostage during armed raid

The Top filling station in Athy and inset Supt Martin Walker at Kildare Garda station
The Top filling station in Athy and inset Supt Martin Walker at Kildare Garda station
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A garda investigation is underway after a service station staff member was kidnapped and held hostage during an armed raid on the store.

The terrifying incident occurred in Athy on April 14 at around 9pm.

Two men wearing balaclavas and holding knives threatened the staff, forced them into a back room and demanded money.

When the men were unsuccessful  in accessing the safe  they took one of the staff members and placed him in a car, leaving the scene.

The remaining staff member was ordered to bring cash from the safe to the raiders at a location nearby. They met on the Kilkenny Road Athy between the Top Garage and Loughman’s Garage.

The cash was exchanged and the staff member was released unharmed.

The Top service station in Athy. Photo: Mark Condren
The Top service station in Athy. Photo: Mark Condren

Gardai were then alerted to the incident.

This evening Superintendent Martin Walker told Independent.ie that the two raiders are still on the loose.

He said one of the men is about six foot tall while the other is around 5'6" and both were casually dressed. The men are in their late teens or early 20s but their faces were hidden so they are no better described.

"This was a very serious incident, a case of robbery and false imprisonment. Both victims were very very upset at this particular matter. One of the raiders was armed with a hammer and the other was armed with a knife."

He explained that the incident took place at around 9pm on Good Friday night and the two shop assistants were closing up the shop when they were confronted.

The suspects attempted to gain access to a safe but there was a time lock on it.

"In order to facilitate this robbery they took one of the shop assistants with them, drove a number of kilometres out the Kilkenny road and then they continued with telephone contact with the remaining shop assistant."

Gardaí in Athy have appealed for witnesses who may have seen a car acting suspiciously around the service station on the evening of the 14th around 9pm.

They are also looking for any witnesses who may have seen suspicious activity on the Kilkenny Road Athy between the Top Garage and Loughman’s Garage  around 9pm.

Gardaí believe that the suspects were driving a Mazda 323F.

Or any other information that may assist in this investigation to contact the Gardaí in Athy on 059 8634210, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or Garda station.

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