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Gardai swoop on suspect in major search for carjacker

GARDAI have arrested the man they believe was responsible for two carjacking incidents in which a handgun was used to threaten drivers.

Sources believe that the stolen cars would then be used in an armed robbery or a gangland hit.



The suspect was picked up by detectives who recovered a silver handgun and a boiler suit, which were used in the two carjacking attempts.

The Finglas man, who is in his mid 20s, was released earlier this week after spending a number of days in custody.

He was released without charge, but gardai believe they have enough evidence to charge the suspect, who has a number of previous convictions including one for an arson attack on a car.

Sources believe that he "stole the high-powered cars to order" and that they were intended to be used in future crimes.

The armed carjackings happened in a 2kms radius and within the space of a day of each other in broad daylight in Finglas on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

In the second incident, a man was dragged out of his Mitsubishi Lancer car at gunpoint while he was stuck in traffic between the Clearwater Shopping Centre and the Ardmore Hotel.

The victim -- a man from Glasnevin -- was uninjured in the incident but was said to be deeply traumatised.



The suspect jumped into the car and then sped off on the N2.



The car was found abandoned less than 4kms away in the Coldwinters area by armed detectives who had been alerted to the situation.







HANDGUN

In follow-up searches of a ditch in Coldwinters, officers recovered a "fully functioning" unloaded silver handgun and a boiler suit.

It is understood that "good quality" CCTV has been obtained.

This led to the arrest last Sunday of the suspect, who is also believed to be involved in a carjacking in Finglas on the previous day.

In the first incident, a businessman was dragged out of his top-of-the-range silver Audi A5 coupe at the nearby Finglas Business Park on the Tolka Valley Road.

A gun was pointed in the man's face before he was dumped on the ground.

This incident sparked a major garda manhunt with armed units deployed as well as the garda helicopter.

The Audi A5 car, which is worth well over €50,000, was found undamaged in Fairlawn Park, Finglas.

The carjacking arrest happened as the garda net closes in on notorious local crime lord nicknamed 'Fishy', who leads a crew linked to a number of armed robberies and cash-in-transit robberies -- the majority on the capital's northside.

The Herald previously revealed that his gang are linked to a dozen cash-in-transit robberies already this year -- the majority in north Dublin.

kfoy@herald.ie