Around 40 gardaí and helicopter searching for burglary gang after 'insane' high-speed chase in Cork city
A MANHUNT is under way in Cork for a gang of burglars who evaded gardaí after a high-speed chase before abandoning their vehicle on a busy road and fleeing across mudflats by Cork harbour.
Around 40 gardaí, supported by the Garda helicopter, are now hunting the three-man gang in the Mahon-Blackrock area of Cork's southside.
The hunt was launched after a householder returned to their property in Rochestown and apparently disturbed two men who had broken in and were ransacking the premises.
Both men ran away and escaped in a waiting car driven by a third man.
The householder was able to raise the alarm immediately and a garda patrol car raced to the scene.
It is understood the getaway vehicle collided with the garda patrol car before then driving at high speed along the South Link Road.
The driver then stopped the car - apparently worried about being blocked by gardaí in the Jack Lynch tunnel or by the Mahon exit - and the trio fled across four lanes of busy traffic.
One source said the men's behaviour along the busy South Link Road was "insane."
The trio left the South Link and ran across fields and mudflats by the Cork harbour estuary.
A major garda operation is now under way to trace the three men.
Members of the public have been urged to notify gardaí if they see suspicious behaviour in the general Mahon, Bessboro or Blackrock areas.
The three men - understood to be in their 20s and 30s - were last seen wearing tracksuits, slacks and sports tops.
Gardaí said it is likely the men will now be mud-spattered and wet given the area of mudflats they fled through.
Members of the Garda Technical Bureau are now examining the gang's getaway vehicle in the belief the gang are responsible for a spate of recent burglaries across Cork city and county.
The public have been warned not to approach the men, but to alert gardaí if they spot them.