A man disguised as a woman and armed with a gun robbed a publican of €15,000 at a bank night safe.
The raider, complete with wig and dress, robbed the Dublin city publican of the cash at an AIB bank in Rathgar.
The culprit jumped into a waiting car that was disguised as a taxi and was driven away by an accomplice.
The robbery happened just before 5am yesterday when the worker from Rody Bolands bar in nearby Rathmines pulled up at the AIB branch on Terenure Road East in Rathgar in south Dublin.
"From what we can piece together it seems he saw a woman at the ATM and a car that looked like a taxi waiting for her and thought nothing more of it," said one garda source.
"But when he went to the night safe to lodge the money, the woman turned out to be anything but innocent and turned to him with what looked like a handgun," they added.
"The businessman with the cash then discovered it was an armed man he was dealing with and was thrown by the disguise," they explained.
The raider threatened the 44-year-old man while a second man then joined in.
They took the cash from the bar worker and then drove away from the scene in the car that had a taxi sign on its roof but no taxi stickers on its doors.
The car, a silver Hyundai i40 fitted with false registration plates, was later recovered in the Harold's Cross area. Forensic examinations of the vehicle are ongoing.
While the businessman was not physically injured, he was said to have been shocked by the events.
"These raiders must have known the movements of the businessman and lay in wait for him, and they went to considerable lengths to make sure he didn't feel threatened until he was out of his car and preparing to lodge the money," the garda source told the Herald.
Gardai are appealing for any witnesses, particularly anyone who may have passed the ATM at the bank on Terenure Road East between 4.30am and 4.45am, and who may have seen any unusual behaviour, to contact them.
The registration on the car was 12 CE 1549, and gardai are hoping that passers-by may have spotted it parked in the area near the bank or being parked in Harold's Cross.
Gardai in Terenure can be contacted on 01 6666400, or witnesses can call the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.