herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Associate of Monk's dead brother is held over armed shop raid

The targeted Spar in Clontarf, inset, the shattered door
The targeted Spar in Clontarf, inset, the shattered door
Spar store robbery in Clontarf

A close associate of a brother of convicted criminal Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch and another north inner city Dublin man remained in garda custody last night after their arrest following an armed robbery.

A close associate of a brother of convicted criminal Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch and another north inner city Dublin man remained in garda custody last night after their arrest following an armed robbery.

The bungling criminal, who was very close to the late Derek Hutch, was arrested only yards from the Monk’s family home  in Clontarf after he and his associate were busted shortly after they ran off with less than €1,000 from the Spar on Stiles Road at around 7.45am.

The female manager was held up at gunpoint by the two thugs, aged 25 and 24, who were watching the store and threatened the woman with what turned out to be an imitation firearm as she opened up.

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They pointed the gun at her and forced her to hand over the cash before fleeing the scene.

Shortly after the robbery, two gardai found them hiding in a house nearby that was being renovated.

Shop owner Gus O’Hara said he was thankful no one was hurt during the robbery.

READ MORE: Gardai arrest two men after armed robbery in Clontarf

“At 7.45am, my manager was opening the store and before she even got to turn off the alarm, two assailants came in behind her, forced her to the ground and then got her to deactivate the alarm,” he told the Herald. 

“They had hidden behind the bottle banks – they were lying in wait for her.

“Fortunately, a distress alert went into our alarm company. She was forced into the office and forced to open our coin press, as our safe would be under time lock at all times.

“They did get a small quantity of cash from the coin press and left the scene.

“Thankfully, she was unhurt but she was very shaken. There were some gardai very close to the scene and through good intelligence from people in the area they were able to apprehend the men in a local building which was under renovation.”

As the robbers fled from the scene they smashed the front door which Mr O’Hara said will cost a substantial sum to replace.

“They destroyed my front door,” he said. “They smashed it on the way out. It’s not just the glass that was smashed, they were so hyper that the frame of the door has been bent beyond repair. The whole frame has to be replaced.

“The response by the gardai was incredible – I had seven members of the force in my shop within 15 minutes and they’ve followed up to arrange counselling for my employee.”

The thugs ran around the corner to the Paddocks housing estate where they jumped over the back wall of a house that is being refurbished.

A neighbour reported suspicious behaviour to responding gardai, and two uniformed officers followed the raiders over the back wall where they held them until the building site was opened.

“The two lads hopped the back wall of the house as the front of the site was locked and the gardai jumped in after them and trapped them in there,” a source said.

“One of the lads from the building site had to come and open up to let the guards out with them. They found the imitation gun there as well.”

One of the arrested men is from the north inner city and was very close to career criminal Derek Hutch, whose inquest heard in 2010 that he had felt guilty about something that happened years ago in the days before he took his own life in 2009.

Hutch’s brother Gerry is a reformed criminal who was well known to gardai for many years.

Another close pal of the arrested man was involved in a bizarre shooting incident in the north inner city last August and is a more serious operator.

 

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