Saturday 24 February 2018

Four held as gardaí catch €1m jewellery heist suspects

Gardai recovered a haul worth around €1m
Gardai recovered a haul worth around €1m

Tom Brady and Caroline Crawford

Gardaí have recovered a stolen jewellery haul worth €1m and arrested suspected members of an Eastern European gang.

The jewellery was stolen during a raid on a premises in Galway city centre yesterday morning and recovered following a chase through surrounding streets.

Four masked men, armed with what staff believed to be a handgun and a number of hammers, burst into Hartmann's premises at William Street shortly after 10.30am.

They threatened the staff with violence and then scooped up a large amount of jewellery into a bag.

The haul included a wide assortment of items including men's and women's watches, diamond rings, wedding and engagement rings, as the gang emptied the contents of trays in front of terrified staff members.

Two members of the public followed the raiders as they left the shop and gardaí were immediately alerted.

Members of the detective unit from Gaillimh station quickly joined the chase on foot through several streets before they surrounded some suspects.

Two men were arrested following a struggle at Middle Street and two others detained shortly afterwards. Officers recovered all of the stolen property and an imitation firearm.

The suspects were arrested under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and taken to the local station for questioning.

All of them are said to be Eastern European.

Last night gardaí were trying to establish how long the suspects had been in the country.

They can be held without charge for a maximum of 24 hours, excluding rest periods.

While no staff were injured during the incident, they are understood to have suffered from shock.

Irish Independent

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