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Thieves steal 70 certs in NCT raid

TWO armed raiders terrified customers and staff at a National Car Test (NCT) centre before making off with up to 70 NCT certificates and a small sum of cash.

Gardai have launched an investigation into the incident, which took place in broad daylight over the weekend.

At around 5.20pm on Saturday, the raiders, who were wearing white boiler suits and masks, burst into the NCT centre on the Donore Road in Drogheda, Co Louth.

The men, who were described as of Eastern European origin, threatened staff with knives before making off with around 70 blank NCT certificates and a till float, of less than €100.

The men made their escape in a blue 2010-D Ford Focus C-Max car.

Investigating officers are reviewing CCTV footage and have also been given the serial numbers of the certificates that were taken.

A source told the Herald that the documents may have been taken by criminals involved in a stolen vehicle ring.

"By all accounts this was an absolutely horrendous experience for those involved and these two appeared to be extremely violent.

"The certs could be used on stolen cars and obviously anyone who is selling that car could get more money if the buyer believes it has a valid NCT. They are quite valuable," the source said.

A spokeswoman for Applus, the company that runs that NCT, confirmed that the serial numbers from the certificates had been passed to gardai.

"Thankfully nobody was injured. The staff member is alright," she told the Herald.

SHAKEN

"Obviously he is very shaken by what has happened, but he wasn't harmed."

Local Labour councillor Paul Bell said that he was shocked about the level of violence used in the crime.

"Why would anyone commit such a violent, aggravated and aggressive robbery for these certs?" he said.

"When I first heard it, I didn't actually believe it."

"It's alarming to say the least. Around Drogheda there have been an awful amount of robberies and a lot of violence," his colleague on the council Independent Frank Godfrey added.

"A lot of businesses are being hit and I think its time to beef up security."

hnews@herald.ie


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