A SHOP worker had a lucky escape after a thief brandishing a meat cleaver entered an off-licence and threatened to chop off his arms before fleeing with cash and a bottle of whiskey.
The aggravated burglary happened shortly after 7pm at the Carry Out off-licence in Mulhuddart, northwest Dublin, when the raider, brandishing a "huge" cleaver, threatened two male staff members.
The man, who was wearing a balaclava, approached the counter and demanded the contents of the till.
However, he became agitated when the worker behind the counter was so overcome with fear that he froze and was unable to get the cash register open.
The manager said he then intervened to try to reason with the raider.
"He kept saying, 'Open the tills, open the tills or I'll chop his arms off'," he said.
"I had to step in because one of the lads panicked and couldn't open the till. I got in between the two of them and opened it for him.
"The guy was dressed completely in black. His face was completely covered too, and we couldn't even see his eyes. There were two customers here at the time and obviously they were terrified.
"They weren't threatened, but the guy kept screaming that he wanted cash and to hand it over straight away.
"He then fled and grabbed a bottle of expensive whiskey, a bottle of Midleton, before he left.
"The guy here got hit with the meat cleaver over his arm but the weapon was blunt, thank God.
"He was hit with the blade of the weapon, but it was so blunt that it only scratched him a little bit.
"The robber grabbed what he could from the till, but we don't yet how much was taken. It's too early to say.
"I'm all right now, but it's not the first time it's happened, and things could have been a lot worse."
The thief fled the scene on foot before gardai arrived.
Officers confirmed that a man carrying a dangerous weapon entered the premises, and are currently examining CCTV footage.