Four masked men with shotgun tie up manager and rob popular restaurant
Four masked men armed with a shotgun tied up a man in a house in Co Wicklow last night and robbed his employer when he arrived home from the local restaurant he runs.
The incident unfolded when the owners of the Wicklow Heather restaurant in the town of Laragh arrived home around midnight.
The couple live very close to the restaurant on a secluded laneway up a hill.
When they got home the woman noticed there was a group of men in the house and called gardai.
She then left but her husband was confronted by the masked gang who threatened him with a shotgun.
The men had earlier tied up an employee of the couple and it appears they were waiting for them to return home.
The raiders took a small amount of cash and a mobile phone from the restaurant owner before fleeing the scene.
There were no reports of injuries but the couple and the employee were said to be shaken by the experience.
It is understood a site in the Booterstown area of Dublin also became part of the wider investigation.
During the morning a garda four-wheel-drive vehicle arrived at the scene in Larragh and evidence bags containing clothing were taken from it and shown to detectives who noted their description.
The Wicklow Heather restaurant
It is suspected the clothing was collected by investigating gardai to see if any of the witnesses to last night’s aggravated burglary could recognise them as being the same as clothing worn by the gang members.
Early today gardai carried out forensic searches in the undergrowth in the immediate vicinity of the house and the laneway.
An area further up the laneway which overlooks the house was the centre of a ground search involving a search team who went through the long grass and undergrowth on their hands and knees.
Meanwhile, in the house where the incident took place a separate team from the garda technical bureau searched and photographed the interior.
Gardai in Ashford are investigating.