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Gardai foil raid on supermarket by desperate armed gang of four

A DESPERATE gang was foiled by armed gardai just moments before they planned to raid a supermarket.

Three men and a teenager were today in custody after officers had tailed them for days. The Herald understands the gang was desperate for cash to pay a drugs debt.

Heavily armed members of the Organised Crime Unit, along with local detectives, pounced just seconds before the gang was about to take the day's takings from the SuperValu supermarket in Greystones at 9.10 pm yesterday.

Amazingly, members of the OCU were driving a €100k Mercedes CLS 320 CDI -- one of the most powerful cars on the road today.

The 4-door coupe has a 3.0 litre V6 engine and can do 0-100-kmh in under 7 seconds -- a far cry from the standard Garda patrol car.

The men, aged between 17 and 37, were arrested at the scene in an operation involving around 30 gardai. In an attempt to flee the scene, the gang rammed a garda car in the supermarket's car park. No garda was injured in the incident.

Sources say that detectives had "specific information" about the gang's plan and knew about the planned armed robbery for a number of days. Baseball bats and a hatchet were recovered at the scene and the four suspects are expected to remain in garda custody today.

A senior source explained: "The information that we have is that some members of this gang owe a very substantial drugs debt."

Among the four suspects in garda custody today are two brothers who are well known to gardai in Co WicklowThree suspects are being detained in Bray garda station while the 17-year-old is being questioned in Wicklow Town garda station.