Gardaí are searching for a gang responsible for what has been described as a ‘well planned and well executed’ robbery at a shop in Co Clare yesterday.
Thieves cut telephone cables and disabled security lighting before breaking into a shop which was targeted in a similar fashion almost six years ago.
It’s known that the Daybreak shop at the Western Service Station on the Quin Road in Ennis closed at 9.00pm on Monday night and when staff arrived for work shortly before 7.00am yesterday (Tuesday) they noticed something was amiss.
They decided not to enter the premises and instead called gardaí who arrived at the scene within minutes. Officers entered the shop to discover that a robbery had taken place.
Security lighting in the carpark of an adjacent car dealershop was disabled while the thieves are also understood to have gained access to a manhole a short distance away where they disabled telephone and alarm system cables.
A heavy duty angle grinder was used to cut open an ATM machine and a cigarette dispenser. The gang used heavy cutting equipment in an attempt to gain access to a safe but they were unsuccessful.
It’s believed the thieves got away with several thousand Euro worth of cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of cash and were inside the shop for ‘some time’ maybe over an hour.
Gardaí have been canvassing local business premises in an effort to secure as much CCTV footage as possible. It’s also hoped that people living in a large nearby housing estate might have heard to seen something suspicious.
Detective Inspector John Galvin of Ennis said: “We are still working to establish an exact timeframe for this incident but it may have occurred around 4.00am when it was quieter. A manhole cover nearby was opened and telephone cables cut. This was a very sophisticated operation. It was well planned and well executed.”
“We are appealing to anyone living in the area or who travelled along the Quin Road on Monday night into Tuesday morning to contact us if they saw anything at all which they think might have been unusual or suspicious. Maybe someone saw a person at the manhole or a vehicle in the forecourt of the garage,” Det’ Insp’ Galvin added.
Anyone who may have seen anything is asked to contact Ennis station on 065 6848100 or the Garda Confidential Lin on 1800 666 111.
In May 2009, the same shop was targeted when thieves cut telephone and security wires before gaining access and stealing thousands of Euro in cash and a substantial quantity of cigarettes.