Garda almost mown down by criminal gang behind smash-and-grab raids on Kilkenny businesses
A CRIMINAL gang launched a smash-and-grab raid on Kilkenny businesses during an early morning crime spree before making a high-speed getaway.
KilkennyNow.ie has learned the gang were almost caught red-handed by local gardai who were responding to one of the break-ins just as the criminals were fleeing the scene of a second burglary.
It is believed the same gang were also behind three earlier identical break-ins in Durrow, just over the border in Co Laois.
The gang, driving a high-powered Grey Audi, targeted the Inver Petrol Station in Johnstown at 3.20am on Sunday morning. The windows of the premises were smashed, and the gang made off with a quantity of cigarettes and alcohol.
Twenty-five minutes later they hit the Centra Shop on Main Street, Urlingford. The used the same modus operandi as the earlier break-ins: the windows of the premises were broken and further quantities of alcohol and cigarettes were stolen.
Kilkenny gardai responding to the first incident then happened to come across the gang as they were fleeing the scene of the Centra heist.
A local Garda source said an officer who got out of the squad car to try and identify the suspects was then almost mown down as the gang sped past in the opposite direction.
Gardai gave chase, but the gang managed to evade arrest.
Gardai later discovered the Grey Audi’s 06 LS registration plates were false and had been stolen from another vehicle outside Portlaoise a few hours earlier.
Gardai believe there were three, possibly four, criminals involved in the burglary spree, and that the gang is based in Dublin.
They are currently trawling through CCTV footage from the targeted premises in a bid to identify the criminals.
Anyone with information regarding the burglaries is urged to contact Castlecomer Garda Station on 056 444 1222.