Two bungling thieves left a gun in a getaway car and crucial DNA at the scene following a terrifying cash box raid in north Dublin.
It is believed the brazen armed raiders fled the scene covered in dye, which exploded on them as they used a concrete saw or angle grinder to cut open the box they had stolen from the Bayside Shopping Centre.
It is understood the two men got away with €36,000 in the raid. One of the men was wearing a balaclava and the second had his face covered with a scarf.
The thieves struck at around 11.45am yesterday, when they stole the cash box from a security man at the north-side shopping complex.
As the cash box was being delivered to an ATM, a masked gunman ran at the security officer carrying the box and pointed the weapon in his face.
An eye-witness who was sitting on a low wall just feet away described what she saw.
"The two men were coming from the security van and going into the shop," the witness said.
"As the second man reached the top of the ramp, a masked man with a long handgun came running down the side of the shopping centre towards him with the gun held in front of him.
"He pointed the gun at the security man, who then dropped the box and held up his hands.
"Then a black car drove in front of the security van and the man with the gun grabbed the box and ran to it and they drove off. It was all over in seconds."
As the security men rang gardai and the alarm was raised at the shopping centre, the two accomplices were making their way to nearby Bayside Dart Station.
There they drove into the car park, which is surrounded by CCTV cameras.
A witness at the station told the Herald of the drama that took place there.
"They drove into the car park and jumped out of the car and then pulled the money box out of the back seat and laid it on the ground," the witness said.
"They were only here two or three minutes but it looks like they cut the box open and grabbed the money from inside it. Then they ran through the underpass that goes under the tracks and out the other side.
"One had the money and the second had the cutting device," the witness added.
Evidence at the scene indicates that the green dye-bomb fitted into the security cash box went off as the men cut it open. A trail of green dye was also visible showing where the men ran through the underpass.
Gardai preserved the scene, as well a sample of spit found on the ground in the underpass.
This could prove crucial in the hunt for the two men as gardai should be able to glean DNA evidence from the sample.
The raiders also left the gun behind on the back seat of the 01 Opel Vectra car that was left in the Dart station car park.
Gardai in Sutton are investigating the incident and have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.
Yesterday's raid was not the first dramatic incident to take place in the area, as gardai foiled a tiger kidnapping following a dramatic car chase in 2014.
In an unrelated raid, postmistress Susan Lawlor was left terrified after she was taken at gunpoint to her premises at Bayside in Sutton.
She was forced to hand over €85,000 in cash shortly after normal opening hours, when the time lock on the safe no longer operated.
But the money was later recovered by gardai when an emergency operation was put in place after officers were alerted about the kidnap and robbery by An Post officials.