BUSTED: The moment armed gardai bring suspects’ car to a stop with stinger device and make arrests
Two suspected raiders arrested in connection to aggravated burglary of couple of three children in Co Tipperary
THIS is the moment armed gardai forced two suspected raiders from a seven-strong gang to bring their stolen vehicle to a halt.
Seven suspects, all from Dublin, were being questioned by officers last night over claims they smashed their way into a home in Tipperary.
Five were arrested shortly after they allegedly fled the property of Mark and Emma Corcoran, having viciously assaulted the parents and threatened their three daughters before robbing cash and jewellery. The other two are said to have left the scene in the Corcoran's family jeep.
They were stopped when gardai deployed a stinger device and rammed the vehicle as it attempted to escape into the capital. Two men were arrested at gunpoint afterwards.
The raiders are said to have told one of the family’s three children that they would cut their hand off.
The Corcoran's six-year-old daughter screamed “they’re going to kill my daddy” during the attack, in which the raiders broke businessman’s Mark Corcoran's nose with the butt of a gun and terrorised wife Emma at the remote property in Killenaule.
The family were tied up as the gang searched for cash and valuables in the early hours of Thursday morning.
A source said Mr Corcoran was beaten so badly, he is danger of losing the sight in one of his eyes.
The raiders initially unsuccessfully attempted to gain access to the |secluded home at Laffanbridge, near Thurles, through the front door.
They then burst through the living room window of the bungalow. When Mark, aged in his 30s, heard the smashing, he ran to see what was happening and saw the gang in the hallway.
Friends said Mark told them: “They didn't say anything, they just burst my face open with the butt of a gun.”
The well-regarded businessman, |who runs the Crazyfitathome.ie, |selling work-out equipment told friends that he could not believe that people could be “so vicious”.
As Mark lay tied up, the raiders untied his wife, and then swung and dragged her around by her hair, demanding that she open a safe and hand over whatever money they had.
“They are animals and ruthless. The family are living there all their lives,” a local said.
After taking cash, jewellery and other items, the gang stole the family jeep |and fled from the area in it and |another car – a Volkswagen Passat.
The alarm was raised and shortly afterwards gardai stopped a car near Portlaoise and detained five suspects.
All stolen property from the Corcoran home was recovered in the Passat.
In the meantime, the other two accomplices laid low in the Kia Sportage SUV and attempted to make
their way to the capital. But at around 9am yesterday, officers intercepted the stolen jeep in rush hour traffic, bringing the vehicle to a halt by deploying a stinger and ramming it.
Meanwhile, the Corcoran home was sealed off and the Herald understands that investigating officers have already recovered good forensic evidence from the home and two vehicles.
The seven suspects are being held in a number of stations across Co Tipperary. Each of them are from Coolock – the Priorswood, Moatview and Belcamp areas – situated on the northside of Dublin.
They are suspected to belonging to one of the major traveller gangs, which have been operating from their bases in the capital and using the |network of motorways to carry out burglaries across the country.
The arrests are regarded by senior garda officers as one of their biggest captures so far under Operation Fiacla, which has curbed a recent rise in burglaries.
All seven of the suspects are being held for questioning under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.
The legislation allows them to be detained without charge for a maximum of three days.
By Conor Feehan, Ken Foy and Louise Hogan