THE net is closing in on a thug who dragged a woman hundreds of metres along a road in a car after he tried to grab her handbag outside a Dublin shopping centre.
The investigation team has identified a local man after ruling another suspect out of their inquiries when he provided an alibi.
"There will be an arrest in this case. Gardai know where they are going with this one," a source explained.
The traumatised victim, who is a Chinese national, is understood to be out of the country for a number of weeks.
Her young son looked on in horror as the woman was pulled by a silver Opel Corsa through the car park at the Ballyowen Shopping Centre in Lucan, Co Dublin, last Thursday.
The driver of the car, who witnesses described as wearing white gloves, swerved left and right as he drove down the street in an attempt to get the woman to let go of the car.
"The lady tried to hold on to the bag but it seems when her attackers tried to escape, she got caught up in their car and was dragged along the road," said one onlooker.
The woman was later treated for injuries in Connolly hospital but was said to be making a "very good recovery."
She was treated for pelvic injuries but has since been discharged.
Gardai say the woman had put her young child into her car in the car park at around 5.40pm on Thursday and was about to drive off when she was attacked by a man who tried to grab her bag.
She was then dragged by the swerving car after the robbery.
One witness said he believed she may have been run over by the car.
"I was driving out of the shopping centre when I saw a silver car flying up the road on the wrong side.
"And then I saw the woman appear to fall off the back of it," a taxi driver told the Herald.
"When I got back there was ambulances and gardai all around the place, and the garda helicopter was in the air," the driver added.
Witnesses told how they could not tell if the woman had been clutching on to her handbag or if her clothes had got caught in the passenger door as a man opened it to snatch her bag.
The thieves made away from the scene in the car which gardai reported finding burnt-out around 100 metres away in Ballyowen Lane, Lucan, shortly after the incident.