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Burglary gang held in chase drama

MEMBERS of a notorious burglary gang were arrested after a dramatic high speed chase in Dublin.

The gang, who have been involved in a major crime spree in the Dublin and north Wicklow region over the past few months, were picked up by detectives after a chase involving the garda helicopter and a number of pursuit vehicles.

The dangerous chase came to an end in a housing estate close to The Spa Hotel in Lucan, west Dublin, at around midnight on Saturday when their high speed stolen Volvo S60 car was eventually stopped.

Sources say that members of the gang hiding in woods were located by thermal imaging from the garda helicopter.

Earlier, several garda units were involved in the chase which reached speeds of 150kph as the stolen car drove through the Strawberry Beds and Lucan areas of west Dublin.

The family-based gang targeted in the dramatic chase is a notorious Traveller outfit which has been linked to almost a dozen burglaries in the north Wicklow area as well as a number of incidents of handbag snatches.

Their stronghold is Bray, Co Wicklow, but they also have connections to the Tallaght area and links to a crime gang in England.

They are made up of four men aged in their 20s and have been a major target for gardai for months.

One of the gang members was previously jailed after he rammed a stolen van into two garda patrol cars following a high-speed chase over the Dublin Mountains in 2005.

During that incident, a 32km chase ensued from Rathfarnham, over the Dublin Mountains to Enniskerry and the Southern Cross Road in Bray.

The notorious burglar drove the van at its maximum speed of 60mph in a dangerous fashion, including going the wrong way around roundabouts.

During the chase, items such as fire extinguishers and work tools were thrown from the van into the path of two following patrol cars.

At Bray, he rammed a perimeter fence but failed to break through it so he reversed the Hiace into the patrol cars. Two gardai were treated in hospital for leg and neck injuries.

Another gang member was previously convicted of his role in the theft of thousands of euro worth of stainless steel in north Dublin last year.