Armed gang hold up six bookies within a month
A gang who were arrested after a failed heist at a betting shop are the main suspects for a series of violent robberies in the capital over the past month.
Three young men were detained after officers swooped as they tried to hold up a Paddy Power shop.
The incident happened at the Bluebell Avenue outlet in Kilmainham at 7.40pm on Wednesday.
Two men, one of whom was armed with a pistol, tried to gain entry to the bookies but were unsuccessful. They then tried to flee the scene in a BMW car driven by another man.
However, gardai had been keeping watch on the gang after six armed heists at bookmakers in the capital over the past four weeks.
As the men sped from the scene, officers set off in pursuit, eventually bringing the getaway car to a halt on the Naas Road.
During the incident one of the thugs pointed a pistol at a detective and threatened him before being disarmed.
The three suspects, who are aged 18, 20 and 22, are being questioned at Kilmainham, Kevin Street and Sundrive Road Garda Stations.
No money was taken during Wednesday’s foiled raid and the pistol was recovered.
It is being forensically examined.
No betting shop staff or gardai were injured during the incident.
The Herald can reveal that the gang are the main suspects in a series of armed hold-ups in Dublin.
A source said they are believed to be active in armed robberies, and are suspected of having raided several bookmakers across the city in the last number of weeks.
In one incident, two men,
one armed with a shotgun, entered a bookies in Sundrive Road on February 13.
The thugs entered the premises at around 8.40pm and gained access to the area behind the counter.
Staff were threatened during the ordeal and the raiders also assaulted one worker.
In that incident, they made off with around €4,000 in cash.
It is believed the raiders left the scene on foot, fleeing the area through a local park.
The same gang are also the main suspects in a spate of armed robberies that took place in the Crumlin, Rialto and the Sundrive areas of the city.
A source said all the robberies involved the same method.
“Two men walk into a shop with one brandishing a firearm before threatening the staff to hand over money,” a source explained. “They then flee the scene either on foot or in a vehicle, which is not stolen.”
All three men arrested yesterday are from the south inner city and are well-known to gardai.