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Thursday 18 January 2018

'It was terrifying' - Galway Jeweller on €1m daylight raid

Hartmann's Jewelers. Photo: Google Maps
Hartmann's Jewelers. Photo: Google Maps
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

RAIDERS who targeted a Galway jewellers making off with an estimated €1m in merchandise went directly for the high value items.

Staff at Hartmann’s Jewellers on Shop Street were caught up in the raid at 10.45am on Wednesday.

Richard Hartmann revealed how a customer had just left the shop when the raiders struck.

“We had three staff on the shop floor with another in a room just off it and then we had a number of people upstairs in the offices. Luckily a customer had just left before it happened.

“It all happened very quickly, they were in and out in the space of a couple of minutes. It was terrible for staff. They were armed with two weapons and they looked very real. It was terrifying.

“They had lump hammers to go at the locks and hinges of the cabinets. We’re still calculating exactly what was taken. They went specifically for two cabinets and hit a third one on the way out. The two they targeted were high value items, Rolex and diamond rings. They knew what they were looking for,” he added.

Mr Hartmann, who was in the office at the time, could see the drama unfold on the store’s CCTV cameras.

“I dialled 999 and I was put through to gardai in Millstreet right away. Members of the public were also on the phone to gardai independently,” he added.

After the raiders fled the store on foot, two plain clothes detectives gave chase, assisted by a number of members of the public.

Gardai arrested four men in Galway city. Two were arrested on nearby Middle Street with two more arrested at a city centre location. All property was recovered and an imitation firearm was also recovered.

The jeweller praised gardai for their quick actions. He is today tallying the level of damage done as the store re-opened its doors.

“It’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday so we have to be open for all those couples who want to get engaged,” he joked.

“We have enough merchandise to keep going and our suppliers have been very good, getting supplies into us urgently,” he added.

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