Shoppers jump to safety as burglar crashes during chase
SCHOOLCHILDREN and shoppers jumped to safety after a man stole a car at knifepoint and collided with a shop front yesterday.
A garda had to use his pepper-spray to overpower the suspect after the incident.
The 31-year-old man from Co Limerick is alleged to have carried out an aggravated burglary in west Clare before stealing the vehicle at knife-point and speeding off towards Ennis.
The black Kia Sorento was only prevented from crashing into traffic and pedestrians on the town's main thoroughfare when it became wedged between a bollard and a building.
The drama ended with the man being dragged from the vehicle and arrested by gardai who had pursued him over 20km after the vehicle was stolen at knifepoint near Kilrush.
"I am still shaking. I can't believe that this kind of thing can happen in such a busy area," said one horrified shopper.
"I just can't believe no one was killed. This section of street was pedestrianised only a few years ago."
Gardai arrested the man and seized a knife before the scene was photographed by a crime scene investigation officer.
The vehicle was later removed from the scene for technical examination.