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Teen drove stolen car at 220kph as gardai chased him across country

A TEENAGER recruited by a crime gang who use stolen Audis and BMWs for burglaries led gardai on a high-speed chase across the country.

The 16-year-old, from Tallaght, Dublin, drove at speeds of 220kph in an Audi A4 and smashed through toll barriers before a stinger device eventually halted his driving spree.

The drama unfolded last Tuesday when an Audi was stolen after burglars broke into a house in Longford town around 3am and took the car keys.

It was then driven with a second Audi to Edgeworthstown, where the gang was spotted by gardai after an attempted break-in.

The thieves drove off at speed and lost the patrol car.

The stolen car was spotted again by gardai after another burglary, this time at a house in Castlepollard, Co Westmeath, around 4am.

A high-speed chase along the motorway back to Dublin began with the high-powered car reaching speeds of 220kmh.

The garda helicopter was scrambled to monitor the stolen car from the air and co-ordinated ground units, which intercepted it at Lucan, west Dublin, around 4.30am.

The young driver was arrested at the scene and items from two earlier burglaries were recovered.

RINGLEADERS

Following investigations, gardai believe that senior criminals, who are behind the spate of robberies nationwide by using the country's main roads in stolen high-powered cars, are recruiting teenagers.

The ringleaders of the gang are members of two notorious Traveller families from Tallaght who have been involved in organised crime for three decades. The suspects, who are all aged in their mid to late-20s, are top of the garda most-wanted list of dangerous criminals operating in the country.

They are one of at least three Dublin-based gangs, from Clondalkin, Ballyfermot and Tallaght, who have been using the motorway network to carry out burglaries in towns and villages throughout rural Ireland. In several cases, they have smashed up garda cars and threatened unarmed officers.

hnews@herald.ie


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