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Victim escapes tiger kidnap bid bunglers

A Brave tiger kidnap victim escaped through fields after a gang dumped him in a lane near Dublin Airport and put a bag over his head.

Initially the man, who had also been tied up -- stumbled back to the car from which he had been dumped -- not realising it was occupied by the kidnap gang.

The gangsters then placed another bag over the victim's head in the car but, after a brief scuffle, the man managed to escape from the car through nearby fields.

The drama began to unfold in the early hours of yesterday when an armed three-man gang broke into the home the man shares with his partner.

The couple were held at their home at St Andrew's Park in Swords overnight by the gang.

At 8.30am yesterday the woman was ordered to go to work as normal at Balbriggan Post Office, take out a large sum of money and await further instructions from the gang.

However, a colleague noticed the woman was acting strangely and notified the gardai, who intercepted the woman outside the post office.

The kidnap gang's getaway vehicle was found partially burned out in Whitehall. Gardai believe the gang is Dublin-based and had the Swords-based couple under surveillance for some time.

The botched tiger kidnapping was the third attack on a post office in just 12 hours.

Two men armed with a shotgun robbed a post office at Kill, Co Waterford, at 11.40am yesterday. Hours earlier another bungling gang demolished the front wall of a post office with a JCB and fled with an empty safe in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.

hnews@herald.ie