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Cash guard's drive of terror as tiger kidnap gang hold his family in €100k heist

Gardai investigating 2010's first tiger kidnapping are focusing on how the gang had specific information about a cash van and its driver.

As the hunt for three armed raiders continued today detectives were trying to establish how the outfit were aware of the precise movements of the Brinks Allied cash van in the city centre yesterday.

More than €100,000 was taken in broad daylight on O'Connell Street yesterday, despite security staff following correct procedures.

A nine-year-old girl and her 67-year-old grandaunt were left traumatised after they were kidnapped when the gang pounced on the girl's uncle at his Irishtown home.

A source said: "This crew had minute, specific information about the movements of the van. They knew it would be carrying a six-figure sum and that it would be on O'Connell Street yesterday. This was a military-style operation."

Today forensic officers were using the freezing weather conditions to take casts of shoe prints found outside driver Reggie Shannon's home at O'Connell Gardens.

The kidnapping began at the Irishtown estate at 6.30am yesterday, leading to the girl and her grandaunt being held at gunpoint for six hours.

Three armed and masked men entered the home of the Brinks Allied employee off Bath Avenue in Irishtown.

The security guard, who lives at the home with his mother and his niece, was told that if he did not take the cash from his company his family would be harmed.

The gang instructed him to take a stolen white Renault Kangoo van to O'Connell Street to intercept the Brinks Allied van as it made its cash run through Ireland's busiest thoroughfare at 11am.

The gang gave the security guard a mobile phone and told him to await instructions after he met with the Brinks Allied crew outside the Bank of Ireland on O'Connell Street.

As his mother and niece were being transferred to another vehicle, the security guard was monitored by another member of the gang as he met with the Brinks allied workers.

The security guard pleaded with his colleagues and was given a number of cash boxes and as he left he instructed his co-workers not to contact the company headquarters or the gardai for at least half an hour.

As it happens, his absence had already been noticed at the Brinks Allied Headquarters but they were unaware that their employee had been the victim of a vicious tiger kidnapping.

When the security guard left the van, the men guarding the cash in transit van contacted Store Street garda station right away in accordance with protocol agreed between financial institutions, security companies and the gardai.

Once the security guard had possession of the cash boxes he was instructed to bring them to the carpark in the Skylon Hotel in Drumcondra.

He left the white Renault Kangoo van at the hotel and walked to the nearest DART station as told by the gang, and headed to Bray where he appeared at the local garda station at 2pm.

The van was recovered by gardai in Drumcondra yesterday afternoon

His mother and niece were released in the Newvale Crescent estate in Shankill, south Dublin at 12.30pm.

Neighbours they knew nothing of the horror raid until gardai sealed off the house yesterday afternoon.

"I didn't hear or see a thing. It is awful to think that something like this could happen to somebody living so close and you would never know a thing about it," said one concerned local woman.

"The man and his mother have been living there for about a year, so I really don't know much about them. I think the poor young girl was visiting or being minded," she added.

The investigation is being headed up by Supt Finbarr O'Brien from Donnybrook with the aid of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Garda Technical Bureau.

They are anxious to trace the movements of the white Renault Kangoo van, 98 D 29588 which transported the security guard.

The second vehicle the gardai are searching for is a silver Toyota Verso people carrier 05 KE 6457 which was used to carry the man's niece and mother.