Watch: CCTV footage captures moment man smashes way into shop during spate of burglaries in south Dublin
Incidents close to previously-closed garda station
A GANG smashed their way into three businesses in Stepaside in south Dublin before dawn on Tuesday morning and grabbed cash from register trays before making their getaway.
The shops that were targeted are all just yards from the garda station that was closed down five years ago.
Gardai are collecting CCTV footage from all the premises as well as surrounding businesses in an effort to identify the gang involved.
The burglary blitz began at 6.15am this morning when a black Renault Megane drove into the small village.
One man stayed in the car while his accomplice, dressed in a hi-viz jacket, first attempted to break into the Flemings butcher shop.
But the raider abandoned that idea and instead smashed his way into the Simply Fresh fruit and vegetable shop next door.
CCTV footage obtained by Independent.ie shows a raider using a hammer to hit the glass more than a dozen times before kicking it in.
He then walks into the shop, spending a minute there, before coming out, getting back into the car, and being driven around the corner to the Borza take-away.
At the chip shop the raider again smashed the shop with a hammer, pulling out a cash register tray before leaving.
It is believed it was at this point the raider went back to Fleming's, smashed a front window, and emptied the contents of one of their registers.
The black Megane was then seen by witnesses driving out of the village in the direction of Enniskerry.
"This just shows how important it is to get the garda station open again. It should never have closed. It just made Stepaside a target for robberies," said Paolo Borza as he surveyed the damage in his take-away.
Michael Fleming of Fleming's butchers, who is also chairman of the Stepaside Business Association, said the robberies highlight how needed the garda station is.
"We have campaigned for five years to have it reopened, and we thank the OPW, minister Ross and garda commissioner Drew Harris for their commitment to open it again," he told Independent.ie.
"The community is living in fear. My shop was broken into less than a year ago. The Borza was broken into this year," he added.
Paolo Borza explained that when he was last burgled in April the raiders drilled a safe out of the wall.
At the Simply Fresh store manager Keith Moran was also sweeping up shattered glass as Gardai worked throughout the village gathering visual and forensic evidence.
"To see three shops in a small village targeted in just a few minutes is incredible. It shows how these guys have no fear of being caught. It is a very cheeky robbery. In, out and gone," he said.
A man in his 20s has been arrested in relation to the burglaries. He is currently detained in Dundrum Garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
The stolen property and cash has also recovered.