'Hole in the Roof' gang crawling on floor in third raid on the same shop
These exclusive CCTV images show members of the notorious 'Hole in the Roof' gang as they targeted the same supermarket for the third time in less than three months.
The eastern European mob, who are suspected of being behind a nationwide crime spree that has netted them hundreds of thousands of euro in stolen cash and cigarettes, are believed to have been military trained.
Sources say that gardai are investigating whether the same gang are behind dozens of robberies over the past number of months in a geographical area that spreads from Co Sligo to Co Wexford.
Our CCTV images show them at the By Pass Stores in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow, shortly after 1am on October 9 last - just months after the same gang targeted the shop twice in the space of a week in July.
After breaking through the roof of the shop, the two raiders entered the premises through an inner wall of the building and crawled on the ground to successfully prevent the security alarm monitor activating.
One of the raiders was armed with an axe and they quickly got to work, spending a number of minutes attempting to break into a machine which held cigarettes and cigars before empyting the loot into a black bag and fleeing.
The CCTV reveals that one of the raiders had the wording 'Unlimited' on his tracksuit bottoms and his associate had grey sleeves on the red jacket that he was wearing.
During an earlier raid on the same shop, one of the criminals wore a jacket that had the logo 'AK 46' on the back of it.
"These guys are highly organised and the fact that they come armed with an axe shows that they are not to be messed with," a source said last night.
Their nationwide crime spree is going to make it extremely difficult for targeted shop owners to get insurance on their properties next year.
The Herald first revealed in July that there was a major garda investigation into the gang after service stations were targeted in localities as diverse as Fermoy in Co Cork to Finglas in Dublin.
During the summer, the gang targeted service stations in Ballon and Hacketstown, Co Carlow, as well as in Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny and Castledermot, Co Kildare.