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Garda on a bike nabs armed PO raider

IT'S not the famous sprint down the Champs Elysees, but an off-duty garda managed to apprehend an armed post office raider in a bike chase.

The incident took place when a lone thief attempted to rob the Donnybrook post office in Ballsbridge and escape on a bike -- only to have the athletic garda outride him.

The lone raider, wearing a balaclava, ran into the post office on Shelbourne Road in Dublin at 2.30pm yesterday and pulled out a sawn-off shotgun. Within minutes, he was out the door with his cash haul and attempted to escape on a bike. During the raid, the 40-year-old man demanded money from staff, who handed it over but activated the alarm as the thief left.

The man was spotted and chased by the brave garda who was on his own push bike.



PARK

The man and the off-duty garda dumped their bikes in the car park of a nearby office block and the garda gave chase on foot before the thief was eventually brought to the ground.

Hugh Tracey, a security guard who was working at the nearby Law Reform Commission building, witnessed the dramatic chase and assisted the garda by calling for back-up.

"I saw the pair racing across the car park at me and the garda shouted to me to stop him but he got to him before I did and tackled him to the ground," he said.

"Then he had to hold him down because he was fairly big so I rang the police for him.

"The robber had his bike parked across the road when he went into the post office and he had a bag with a sawn-off (shotgun) in it.

"I don't know what happened, he must have panicked.

"I have been working as a security guard for the past five years and this is by far the most exciting thing I have seen," the 62-year-old added.

Within minutes of the alarm being activated five squad cars with 11 officers flooded the area.



WINDOW

A note was placed in the window of the post office to indicate that it would be closed for the remainder of the day.

The raider was taken to Irishtown Garda Station where he was still being detained this morning.

hnews@herald.ie


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