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Gardai arrest bank raider as he fled in taxi

AN armed robber who raided a bank on Blackrock's main street was caught by gardai as he made a daring escape attempt -- in a taxi.

The raider, who gardai believed was armed with a handgun, ran into the bank in the plush Dublin suburb shortly before 4pm yesterday, threatening staff and customers.

He took an undisclosed sum of cash and fled the building.

But, shortly afterwards, gardai who had raced to the scene pulled over a taxi on the Merrion Road and arrested a 51-year-old man who was a passenger in the car.

"The taxi was travelling along the bus lane when uniformed gardai caught up with it and pulled it over," said one eye-witness.

"A number of garda cars were on the scene shortly afterwards, and I saw them taking items out of the taxi in evidence bags," they added.

The man was taken to Blackrock Garda Station for questioning and was still in custody this morning. No shots were fired and nobody was injured in the robbery.

Gardai are also still investigating a spate of armed robberies in the city centre over the past fortnight, including at a post office on Merrion Row and the Rustic Stone restaurant run by celebrity chef Dylan McGrath on September 23.

In both of those robberies a man who was described as having an English accent held up staff with a gun.